How to Resolve Home Remodeling Problems and Conflicts

08:46 Jan 2022
Houston Remodeling

Remodeling your home to add new features and/or spaces can be exciting as well as challenging. The process can be smooth sailing provided all loose ends are tied up and there is an excellent working relationship with the Houston remodeling contractors executing the work.

But things can go south and you can have your share of hiccups, which can potentially bring the project to a halt or lead to avoidable errors in construction. So, what should you do in such a situation, or what should be done to avoid such things in the first place? Let us understand how to resolve the home remodeling problems and conflicts with your contractor.

Additionally, you may read our resource on planning and preparing for a major Houston home remodel.  

Houston Remodeling


Ways to resolve home remodeling problems and conflicts

 Let’s envision a scenario – everything is going as per schedule for your master bathroom remodel work. The materials are there and ready to be installed when you decided to have a look.

To your horror, you find a floor tile being fitted to your shower wall. You give the contractor a piece of your mind in the presence of the workers leaving everyone visibly embarrassed. The contractor takes a pique, throws a fit, and leaves the site.

You are left fuming and ruing your fate. So, what should be done to avoid such a situation in the first place? Let us find a way out of the imbroglio.

Communicate in writing

Most issues between the homeowners and contractors arise due to miscommunication and the absence of updates from the latter. It has been observed that contractors more often than not are caught in the nitty-gritty details of construction and can forget to update the homeowners about the progress or challenges facing the project.

So, it is better to get everything in writing, preferably in texts or emails, instead of verbal communication. Follow up with any verbal discussion with your contractor about Houston remodeling by notifying the matter in an e-mail. Let the contractor know that you are going to send an email to recap any conversation with him and to ensure that both of you are on the same page.

With the written document in place, both of you will be sure of the things to be done and there won’t be any unrealistic expectations. In this specific scenario, remodeling contractor and owner should have prepared a selection sheet in writing specifying what were floor tile and what was wall tile.

It should have also specified the installation pattern, required inserts per a drawing and grout color.

Define the issue

If you see a potential conflict or issue with the Houston renovation project, make sure to define the issue in writing before discussing it. When you are clear about the project expectations, it becomes easier to discuss the issue with the remodeling contractor.

In case there are previous conflicts, try not to bring them into the recent discussion. Any mention of the previous unresolved issues or conflicts can make the situation more volatile and frustrate both parties, only to leave the issue unresolved.

Be understanding

When working on a complex Houston remodel project, there can be times when something goes wrong. It can be a mistake or something beyond anyone’s control.

For instance, an exterior repainting of your home can be delayed if it rains for days. An experienced contractor will take all such things into consideration and you too need to be accommodative on your part by being understanding. However, should your project be beset with myriad issues and the same are pushing the deadline, then it is better to tell the contractor that the project needs to be put back on track.

You may read our blog to know more about remodeling contracting, its types, and the responsibilities of such a contractor.  

Managing anger

It is natural to get worked up by noticing the unprofessionalism of the contractor and the errors caused thereof. However, it is not advisable to have an exchange of words with the contractor in the presence of his employees or subcontractors.

Remember, you may not get much out of it but the embarrassed contractor may not take kindly to the yelling and prefer to maintain his professional dignity rather than solving the issue. In most cases getting crazy mad is not going to resolve anything. It typically makes things worse.

You need to real ask yourself if you can understand how this might of happen. Remodeling contractors don’t make mistakes on purpose to upset their clients.  So, managing your anger is important and any issue can be resolved by discussing on the table.

Set up clear milestones

If scheduling performance is the issue, when you see your Houston remodeling project facing problems, it is time to reestablish the plan and its timeline. Put the conflict or problem(s) in writing and set up clear milestones to resolve it.

However, the timeline can go haywire in the event of any unforeseen situation such as materials backordered or the lateness in ordering materials because they received your final selections late.

It is good that both parties are aware of the things to do in a certain time frame. Any ambiguity can give rise to potential conflict situations and so, it is better to be clear about the things to achieve.

Refer to the contract& proposal

When in doubt about the scope of work, refer to the contract. If you did not sign a contract before commencing the project, all the more reason to resolve the dispute amicably.

It is necessary to have your agreement in writing before you start. The lack of any formal agreement with the contractor can come to haunt you in the event of any disagreement or conflict with any type of contractor.

The remodeling contractor should provide a detailed proposal and a comprehensive contract of terms and conditions that apply to the that specific project.


Whenever you discuss with your contractor to resolve any conflict dispute or issue, it is advisable to listen to him instead of trying to pin him down to prove your point. Listening to him can make you understand his perspective and discover how miscommunication can snowball.

By being all ears to what the contractor says can help resolve any future conflict scenarios. Most of the disputes that happen between owner and remodeling contractor have some amount of misunderstanding to them.

Don’t shy away from amending the contract:

If the job got delayed and the likelihood of your contractor finishing the same within the earlier timeline is practically nil, there is no point in holding the contractor to that milestone. Remember, this can mean pushing the envelope and hurrying the job, resulting in the quality of work being compromised.

It is worth noting that when an owner wants to change plans and specifications, that the normal course of business is for both parties to sign a change order.

The change order is the appropriate instrument to amend the contract. Change orders should be used to extend the time of the project, address out of scope work developments and increase the contract amount for additional work. You may view our video to know about the home renovation techniques to be followed if you are on a budget.  

Hold the person responsible

Many times, the problems with the Houston renovation project are due to a lack of supervision of the subcontractors. In such cases, the supervisors need to be held accountable and told to set right the problem that arose because the workers were not briefed properly.

The remodeling contractor may be required to request a new crew from the subcontractor or instruct them to approach their work in a different method. However, convey the problem in an amicable environment politely yet firmly. Raise a flag if you suspect the job has been given to a low-quality subcontractor with zero experience to show.

Raise any red flag quickly

If you see any issue with your Houston remodel project, you should raise the flag immediately rather than let the issue fester. For instance, if you see the electrical outlet in the kitchen or bathroom fitted in the wrong place, let the contractor know of the problem immediately. If the same is not done then the problem may snowball into something bigger and entail increased expenses and timeline. Remember, the dictum, “a stitch in time saves nine.”

Payment holdback:

In the most despite of situations, you can protect your interest and get the contractor to redo a wrongly done job, you may resort to a payment holdback. Let the contractor know that he cannot get away with any wrongdoing on his part.

You may also tie payments to a home improvement loan and let the bank play the bad cop. This is because the bank won’t release further tranches of the loan if the construction milestones are not met. Before you try this read your contract for cures for breaches.


If the contractor does not listen to your concerns and stays adamant, you should consider escalating the matter. You may threaten the contractor to give bad reviews on sites such as Better Business Bureau, Yelp, or Angie’s List.

If the performance situation continues to worsen, you may want to negotiate a separation agreement between yourself and the remodeling contractor. It some cases it is better to just separate and go your different directions.


 Construction issues or conflicts are bound to happen and you should be well prepared to tackle them with a carrot and stick policy as mentioned above. You may read another’s opinion blog to consider the kind of steps you should take if the contractor muddles up the whole process and delays the construction.


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