I have worked with thousands of homeowners since I started as a contractor in 2002. Many good years filled with fun and interesting projects, but there have been some very challenging and difficult ones as well. I have payed attention to several very important signs that can help the homeowner in need to develop a strong and successful connection with their contractor.
1. Be clear about your project. Clarity and properly set expectations give solid ground to make sure the project is staying on track.
One of the biggest challenges I find is when a homeowner is not clear about what is wanted in a project. I recommend spending the time and energy to develop a very clear picture of how your project will look when completed. Be realistic about what you want. If you change your mind, make sure it is in writing.
2. Have a written contract clearly outlining the scope of work, completion guidelines, and how much the job will cost.
3. Ask what your contractor needs from you, and follow his directions. Many times there are considerations you are not aware of, for instance, removing pictures from a wall where a door is being installed, to prevent it from falling when installing the door. Or changing HVAC filters after the project is done due to all the dust and debris that was stirred up during renovation.
Keep in mind, things will go wrong. There are many moving parts in a construction project. People will always make mistakes. Even with the utmost in diligence, sometimes stuff is ordered incorrectly, damaged in transit, or just plain wrong. Sometimes bigger problems are discovered that will need to be addressed, like damage due to moisture infiltration or insects. An experienced contractor knows this is part of the process and is always thinking about overcoming problems and doing a great job for you.
If you have a dispute, refer to your contract. I recommend trying to solve the problem directly with your contractor. If that is not possible, some states have a licensing board and you can file a complaint.
When things go right…
Enjoy, remodeling and construction is a process. Solving one problem after another, until your project is completed.
If you have a home repair project in southern Oregon and need help, feel free to call me. I’d be happy to review your project.