In my last post I discussed some of the best ways to go about finding and hiring the right contractor for a home repair or remodeling job. Once you have hired those people you then do have to work ‘with’ them too and that is something that merits a bit of discussion too.
Once work actually begins you are going to become very well acquainted with your remodeling contractor and there are some things you can do to make the whole process smoother for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Set Some Ground Rules
If there are certain areas in your home you would prefer that your contractors not go – and they will understand that – make sure to state so politely up front instead of getting mad when a worker unwittingly goes someplace where you did not want them
Remove Kids and Animals
Whenever possible children should not be present anywhere near a remodeling job and the same is true of pets. Pets, especially cats and smaller dogs can all too easily be accidentally hurt and their presence is not always safe for the contractors either. There have truly been one or two horrible cases in which a beloved family pet has ended up sealed behind drywall because the homeowner forgot to tell the contractor that they existed 🙁
In addition, all the banging and crashing and the influx of strangers will scare pets half to death so if they cannot be sent to ‘pet daycare’ at least make sure they are kept in a secure place away from all the action and that your contractors are aware they are there, so that no one lets them out accidentally. For example, you could confine them a room that is not a part of the the remodeling project and affix a large, clear sign on the door warning of their presence.
Communication is Key
If something is not quite proceeding as you like then you should speak up immediately rather than grumbling to other people. A good contractor really only wants one thing – to please their client – and will be happy to listen to your concerns and go about coming up with ways to solve the issue. But they can only do that if they know that something is amiss in the first place.
Foster a Good Working Relationship
The chances are that whether yours is a job that will last a few days or one that stretches over weeks you will be interacting with the same group of workers every day. And the simple fact is that if you make an effort to at least be friendly and polite things will run far more smoothly for everyone involved.
Everyone, whatever their job is, appreciates being treated with respect and praised for good work (when it’s appropriate) and will usually respond positively and be motivated to do their very best work. It doesn’t take a lot to be a great customer; greeting workers by name, designating a bathroom that can be used without an individual having to seek you out for permission, providing a pitcher of soda or pot of coffee. Little gestures like this can go a long way and, in reality, speed up the process.