If disrupting your life and tearing your home apart is not hard enough, remodeling contractors are notorious for not being overly empathetic. This is principally due to homeowners heighten emotional state during a home renovation and their remodel contractors dismissing their emotional state as just part of the remodeling business. Professional remodeling contractors understand that there is a better way to do business and that the secret to a successful home renovation is the general contractor earnestly focusing on the clients remodeling experience. Let us look at how professional general contractors orchestrate a rewarding home renovation experience.
Communication – Listen Carefully & Repeat Often
The key to most misunderstandings between general contractors and their clients can be traced back to poor communications. The problems manifest themselves when owners get frustrated because their remodeling contractors did not listen to them and do not communicate changes in the project schedule. After several of these mishaps the owners frustration will typically boil over and ultimately lead to a total loss of confidence in the relationship.
This adverse condition can be avoided by remodeling contractors taking some carefully measured practices throughout the entire remodeling project. First and foremost contractors must listen to what their clients are saying and then repeat for clarification. Owners often understand what they want but lack the terminology or technical ability to articulate a specific design idea. It is the remodel contractors duty to ask sufficient amount of questions to decrease the likelihood of a misunderstanding.
The second common breakdown in communication is when project changes occur and they do not get communicated to the owner. Most owners understand that subcontractors are not the direct employees of general contractors and that the scheduled work crew will not always arrive or leave at a set time. They will need to collect materials or run service calls at various points throughout the project renovation. The key to these kinds of friction points is open daily communication between the remodeling contractors and owners.
Expectations – Set Real Expectations
The second most common conflict that exist between general contractors and owners are performance expectations. These are often associated with job tasks such as project housekeeping, job site dust and early morning noise levels. The most effective method to avoid many of these misunderstandings is by developing defined expectations during the initial onsite kick off meeting .
There are also product quality expectations that can get lost in translation. An owner will have a specific photo image of a particular product that is important to them. During the budget finalization process the remodeling contractor might recommend a finish change to maintain a targeted budget amount. The owner will commonly acknowledge that the adjustment was discussed but expected a different result. It is a best practice that if there is a change to product profiles or finishes that the remodel contractors provide a sample to establish a mutual expectation.
Do It Right the First Time
Nothing stresses a working relationship more than an owner demanding that a specific finished product be reconstructed due to poor workmanship. This only gets more intense if the owner notices it before the general contractor or worse when the owner and general contractor disagree about the quality acceptability or the workmanship. These situations can rapidly lead to a loss of confidence and worse. The general contractors principle responsibility in any renovation is to maintain quality workmanship and facilitate project continuity.
An essential aspect of closely supervising craftsmen is reviewing specific steps in the construction of home product components. These critical steps include the preparation of detailed shop drawings before fabrication and reviewing the chalk line layout of the permanent placement of home building components as a few examples. Additional examples of closely supervised building practices are checking dimensions, squaring layouts and inspecting for level and plum construction.
The successful habits of Remodeling Contractors that we have discussed are best practices in the industry. When general contractors commit themselves to the quality practices of the industry and to providing their clients a thoughtful and pleasant experience, the renovation process will be rewarding for all concerned.