Working with a contractor should be a positive experience. It’s all about fit.
First, definitely you need to find a contractor that has the skill-set for your project.
In terms of saving time and costs, a design & build team is key when you are looking for efficiency and full detailed coordination for your project.
Successfully Working with a Contractor
Below are a few items to expect.
Tip 1: Mutual trust and respect is key
You are embarking on a home renovation, whether big or small, or building a custom home; so you will be seeing and hearing a lot from your contractor. Mutual trust and respect for each other helps the relationship work well.
How can you motivate your contractor to exceed your expectations?
Have reasonable expectations, be ready to communicate, pay the fees on time and know that recognition is always appreciated when good work is produced.
Tip 2: Communication
- Exchange both cell phone numbers and home numbers with your contractor
- Establish weekly site meetings for review of job progress and details
- You should have the interior designer on site for these meetings as well, to ensure that the specifications and myriad of details are being met
- Encourage daily phone calls for updates
Tip 3: Talk with your contractor before you purchase a new home or before beginning a large renovation
You may be dreaming of purchasing a home and then doing renovations ‘to make it your own’. To ensure that you stay on track, walk your contractor through the space and discuss your wish list. It’s best to do this to ensure that you aren’t just dreaming … that it can be realized, budget wise.
Tip 4: Goals
Discuss your end goals with your contractor. Your budget, your timeline and what you expect the space to be in the end. This is part and parcel of the ‘details and specifications’ phase of the design and build process.
Now you have selected the best-suited contractor, established respect and communication, have discussed your project goals and are now ready to embark on your renovation. Wait … don’t forget the next and final tip!
Tip 5: Details and Specifications
You must be prepared to provide details and specifications for successfully working with a contractor. This is crucial to ensure that what you envision is what the end result will become. This is about defining your expectations.
Hire an interior designer, or work with a professional design & build firm. They will walk you through the process of determining your own special style and clarifying the function of the space. They will show you where to splurge and where to save. Then everything is specified so no mistakes or misunderstandings occur.
In the end, remember that you are all on the same team. You are working towards the goal of creating your dream space! It takes a bit of time and a lot of details to coordinate everything, so hire a design & build team and you will get the best results.
Nisha MacNeil is the lead custom home designer at Kerr Construction, award winning renovation company and custom home builder in Vancouver.
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