Before you bought or moved into your new home, you knew a few remodeling projects were on the horizon. Unless they’re small, like mounting a TV or adding some flowers out back, chances are, you’ll have to work with a contractor or two over the course of your home’s lifetime. As such, you need to know what makes pros tick and how you can ensure a productive and positive relationship with your future contractor.
- Be Courteous
The first and most obvious tip contractors want all homeowners to know is that courtesy goes a long way. Beyond offering the pro and his crew water and coffee, clear the working area or path to the area whenever you can. Likewise, do not block the driveway. Remember, the easier and faster it is to get to the designated work area, the less expensive your home remodeling project will be.
- Stay Out of the Way
Our natural inclination is to help, but with complicated home remodeling projects, it’s best to the let the pros handle the heavy lifting. Therefore, if they’re working on your dream kitchen, keep to other areas of the home. If you must enter, minimize your trips.
However, if you’re on a tight budget and have some DIY experience, you should 100% offer to help. The more you do, the less work his crew has to complete and less money out of your pocket. However, don’t turn your project into a teaching lesson. Remember, the faster the work gets done, the cheaper it will be.
- Maintain Open Communication
Throughout any home remodeling project, questions and unexpected situations will come up. Whether it’s adjusting the budget, choosing a paint color or sadly noticing mold, you should always be available for your contractor. You don’t have to stay in the house 24/7, but the pro should never have an issue reaching you by phone or text.
While the good pros plan for a surprise or two, others do not. The only way the project stays on schedule is if you and your pro make quick, educated decisions. If you’re not available, your project could be vastly delayed. Unfortunately, that usually means more grief and money.
- Limit Changes
Nothing is set in stone until the pro completes the job, but that doesn’t mean you should change the blueprint every minute. Good contractors will make a plan once a design and budget are agreed upon. Any changes to the design or schedule will not only affect your timeline but your budget as well. While certain pros will, of course, take on more work for more money, just know that they’re running a business. They have scheduled a certain number of days for your project. Any work passed that timeline is work they have to explain to other clients. We all want our contractors to respect our time, so the least we can do is respect theirs as well.
- Don’t Overextend Their Work
Good contractors will always change a tall light bulb or help you hang a TV, but that doesn’t you should ask for an exorbitant amount of freebies. You and your contractor came up with a reasonable price for a certain job. Staying late a day or two to finish other jobs may seem like no big deal to you, but it could be to the pro. They have families to get home to. They have businesses to run. Therefore, while kind pros usually oblige, homeowners should not take advantage of their generosity.
- Put Away Pets
We love animals as much as any other homeowner, but pets can seriously delay projects. Even more severe, pets can seriously injure themselves if they are not reframed from the construction zone. As such, play it safe and keep your dog or cat away from the pros.
- Label Utilities
Chances are, your contractor will need access to your utility boxes. Whether it’s shutting off the water for a bathroom remodel or turning off the furnace for an HVAC upgrade, your pro should always know exactly where each utility line starts and ends.
If you’re unsure what switch belongs to what utility, now is a good time to test it out and label everything. This will not only make life easier for your pro but you as well the next time you blow a fuse.
- Give the Occasional Compliment
We all need positive reinforcement in our lives and professional contractors are no different. If you like what you see, give them the occasional compliment. This not only gives them confidence in their work but also strengthens your relationship going forward.