How To Get The Best Results From Your Contractor

How To Get The Best Results From Your Contractor

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If your home needs significant renovation, you will need to actively manage your contractors to ensure that you get the best results your money can buy.

Organizational productivity often depends on how enthusiastic your employees are while working and if they are in sync with overall organizational goals. The same theory applies to managing contractors (employees) at work on our home (your business). Here are a few tips that will make this stress-inducing process a far easier one –

Agree to the Project Scope in Advance

Discuss and agree on the scope of work before any work begins. Ask the contractor to provide a “scope of work” in writing that details every aspect of the project. Select all materials and products beforehand, check prices, and agree on a budget. Line items that aren’t predetermined can lead to gross miscalculations of price estimates and time and lead to last-minute, costly changes.

Don’t Pay Full Price in Advance

Agree to the payment schedule in advance of the project. Our advice to you is to pay no more than 15% at the project start. Then make payments as instalments, with each one marking the completion of a particular section of work. Make the final payment only after all work and finishing touches are complete and you are completely happy with the result.

Stay in Touch — Daily if Possible

Establishing a good rapport with your contractor is paramount to the success of your project. Agree on a convenient way to stay in regular contact — daily communication is recommended, either on the phone or onsite at a fixed time.

A few other suggestions –

  • Meet the project manager and share contact information
  • Get the name and contact of a secondary person to contact in the event the project manager is unavailable
  • Discuss progress against the agreed-upon time schedule

Keep an Eye on the Progress

Along with proper communication, playing an active role in your remodelling project is essential. Look over the work each night after the crew has left and then discuss the progress when you speak to the project manager. You can –

  • Ask questions and don’t make assumptions
  • Make sure your preferences are clearly known. Don’t leave decisions up to your contractor, this will leave you both down a slippery slope
  • If you dislike the way something is being done, say so immediately before it turns into a disaster
  • Compare the materials and model numbers with your scope of work and/or receipts
  • If possible, “swing by” during the day to observe work in progress and validate that the project manager is on site

Record Observations and Decisions

Maintaining a project journal is always recommended for larger projects. Keep track of changes, issues, and decisions discussed with your project manager or other sub-contractors. This step keeps you organized and helps resolve conflicts.

Discuss How to Handle Changes

Agree in advance how you both will handle any changes to the project once work begins. Even with the scope of work agreed to in advance, last-minute changes will occur whether due to unforeseen circumstances, materials being discontinued, or just a change of heart. Agree in advance how to discuss these changes. We advise you to ask for an estimate in advance of the new work starting to understand how modifications will impact your budget and timeline.

Be Professional and Expect the Same in Return

Don’t be afraid to set rules such as, no smoking or eating in the house and requiring floor pads and/or shoe covers to protect your floors. Ask to seal off rooms that won’t be touched to reduce the amount of debris and dust. If the house isn’t secured at night, ask that they remove all tools so that you don’t maintain any liability for theft or damage.

A Good Attitude Goes a Long Way

Do not underestimate the importance of being a courteous, respectful, accommodating customer. Make the construction crew want to deliver their best work. Be friendly; get to know the people working for you. Do your part to make them comfortable. Make sure they have a bathroom which they can use. Offer a cold drink on a hot day; give praise where it’s due. It all goes a long way.

It’s important to take things step by step when it comes to working with your contractors. Keeping these suggestions top of mind throughout your project, you and your contractor should be very successful.



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