Things Your Remodeling Contractors Want You To Know. man and women looking at house floor plan

8 Important Things Your Remodeling Contractors Want You To Know

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Remodeling contractors are the allies who work to bring your ideas to life and improve your home. Few homeowners have the time, necessary skill and experience to do it on their own, if you have none, do not be tempted to do it yourself. Contractors are experts with all it takes to do the work you need as long as you pick a reputable one. To find one you can look at their online reviews or get a referral from a client who got the best results.

Once you find a remodeling contractor you want, please get to know them and their previous work and establish a good relationship even before the work starts. This will ease your worries and build great rapport with the team you let into your home. As a client, there are certain things your contractor wants you to know before they start working.

They have their people
construction workers wearing hardhats
Image by Mikael Blomkvist

We all know someone who knows a lot about construction, and for the sake of peace of mind, you might want them to join the team remodeling your home. It might be a cousin who is a plumber, a niece who is a carpenter or a sibling who can handle electrical work, and you want them to do the work for you. The truth is, it is not a pleasant surprise to spring on your contractor.

 As remodeling contractors, they have a working team they work with and can execute ideas to their precise liking. The sub-contractors who work with him have been gathered after years of good and bad experiences to weed out the problem makers and remain with an efficient team. Basically they have their own list.

Bringing in your people to join in the work means disrupting the synergy that was already established. They have no prior experience working with your loved ones thus; they cannot vet their skills well. This difference can affect the outcome of a project and a tense working environment as they are two people who might have dissimilarities in opinion, thus leading to disagreements.

Second, the contractor carries the livelihoods of their team on their shoulders. This means that by bringing your loved one in, a trusted member of the team has to be removed and their livelihood taken away as well. Sub-contractors depend on the contractor for steady work in exchange for continuing to work together.

Contractors’ reputation is important, and of the ways they get a great reputation is through good work which can only be achieved by a great team. In their industry word of mouth is important, this is why they value the team they work with and have a strong allegiance to them.

Reusing is not as great as you think
unfinished wall
Image by Laurie Shaw

One of the ways to reduce cost and help the environment is through reusing and this is not always the case with construction. Especially with antiques, they might not hold up well, so your contractor might have to tear them out. It could be vintage cabinets that came with the home you fell in love with but sadly get damaged during removal. Old furniture tends to hold together when in place but falls apart in removal.

This is why you have to come to terms with the reality that certain things you love will be gone by the end for something more functional. There are two options in this case, first is that you can start looking for alternatives to the Old leaded-glass windows you love so much. Second is to expect additional costs as you find a professional to find some way to save your antique cabinetry.

The contractor doesn’t have it out for you, is not trying to cut corners or scam you but is trying to reconcile your vision with the reality of what might happen. As a homeowner you have to realize there is more than a dream; using antiques will be costly to you and may not pass modern building codes for the risks they may have on you and your home, such as lead. Your contractor is there not only to work but educate you and bring your vision to life.

Communicate with remodeling contractor
engineers looking at blueprint
Image by ThisIsEngineering

Communication is critical in building and maintaining relationships. It keeps us in the loop of what is happening in our lives, family, friends, community and country. With this in mind, why are you communicating with your remodeling contractor? Once you sign the contract, you have established a contractor-client relationship and to make it work best you have to communicate.

As stated earlier contractors aren’t there to work but are a good source of education and knowledge about your home. From permits to questions in the design changes, reach out to your contractor if you have questions or an idea to see if they can make it possible. A good contractor appreciates questions you have and clarifications you need to understand.

Hovering over them is an entirely different thing from communicating. You would not want your boss to breathe down your neck as you work, so why do that to your remodeling contractors? This is your home, and you feel immense pressure to get it right but there are limits. You can have a daily check in, ask questions if you have any, or simply pass by to say hello just don’t hover around in the guise of communication. You picked the team because of their professional work and great reviews from their previous customers so keep communication lines open but leave them to their expertise.

Contractors are experts in their craft but not magicians
woman in white long sleeve shirt holding silver and gold framed eyeglasses
Image by Khwanchai Phanthong

Let’s be honest we have big ideas when it comes to our homes. From the aesthetic to the interior and exterior set up you have a lot of ideas you have spent years curating and now you want it all. Sadly you cannot get it all. The contractor can look at your plans and tell you it’s impossible because your provisions and additions are not legally allowed.

Most contractors have a good relationship with the permit office as part of the industry but they cannot make them change the rules for you. They might ask and find some leeway they can take advantage of but cannot bibbidi-bobbidi-boo and make the impossible possible.

If you force them to push your wants it may damage your relationship with the contractor and their relationship with the permit office resulting in fines, penalties and a tainted reputation. It takes years to form great rapport, so jeopardizing that relationship means risking their livelihood.

Second, choose friendly weather if possible. Your contractor can do a lot but controlling the weather is not one of them. The weather affects a lot when it comes to construction, from the availability of certain materials and the ability to work. What is worse is when they respect the weather forecasting and halt for the day only for the weather to clear out, losing a half day of work.

This can be aggravating but normal due to the unpredictable nature of the sky on some days. So if possible, pick the best season for construction and if you cannot wait that long, give your contractors some understanding.

Your walls can talk, and they say a lot
dangerous colony of termites crawling on dry terrain in daylight
Image by Jimmy Chan

There are so many things hidden by the perfect paint coated surfaces that hold your home together. You might not understand their language but contractors will, that is why in your contract there is a clause that covers unforeseen circumstances. The secrets can be good, a little bit troubling, thus needing a little touch up or could be so bad they have to take a step back and process what they saw.

Remodeling can involve opening up your walls to stacks of cash, perfect wiring or termite infestation eating the house to rubble. Contractors have seen it all so disclosing as much as possible about the home’s history could help prepare them for what they might find. They will inspect and let you know if there are complications and how they will affect the work.

Share your budget with the remodeling contractor
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Image by Pixabay

As you flipped through magazines, social feeds and spoke to people you have no doubt heard horror stories about contractors massively overcharging their clients. If we look at every industry including the one you work in, there are some bad seeds among you that tarnish reputations and people’s trust in the industry. This doesn’t mean you should hold your cards so close to your chest when you choose a great contractor.

A budget is a financial estimate they have to work with to make your dream a reality. That is why you should tell them the truth. A reputable contractor will not scam you, instead find ways to work with the amount you have for the best results.

You also have to realize for a budget to serve you well, it has to be flexible. The number you have in mind may not be enough to produce the good quality results you desire, so you have to put more money into the remodeling. It might also cost less than what you had on your budget, which means you save some money for the next project.

Your DIY skills won’t save you money
person holding paint roller on wall
Image by Malte Luk

The feeling you get completing a project with your own hands is amazing. Your hard work bears fruits you can enjoy. Tempting as it is, don’t do it with the remodeling. Put the drills and paint brushes away if you are planning to hire a professional to avoid giving them additional work.

“Most construction work builds upon the trade who was there before. In other words, a painter will struggle if the drywall finishers did a poor job, and the drywall finishers will struggle if the drywall installers did shoddy work. It goes on down the line all the way to the demo team who removed the existing finished items,”- as stated on familyhandyman.com.

You might be creative and skilled in your own way but picture how often the contractor has met homeowners who trusted their DIY skills and were burned by the experience of having to re do everything. If you think you are rightfully qualified, your word isn’t enough, show them some of your work to prove your skills.

A good rule is to let the professionals order the materials and work on your home as you wait to marvel in the beauty of your vision and excellence of their expertise.

Make changes early
remodeling contractor
Image by Monica Silvestre

Any project that is important to a client will have requests for alterations and modifications that have to be made. The same goes for remodeling your home. What you liked before might not be what you want now. Your remodeling contractor expects this and wants you to tell them as soon as possible.

An advanced warning will give them time to make reasonable accommodations to guarantee your changes are made. If you aren’t sure about the flooring choice, it’s better to speak up before the order is placed rather than after installation.

With the changes made, you have to realize there will be effects from it. In the flooring example, the change in tile order could mean waiting more days for them to be delivered which increases the days remodeling takes place. Change in any capacity has a rippling effect to you and those around you.

In conclusion

crop man with scraper working at home
Image by Ksenia Chernaya

When it comes to remodeling your home, your contractors want to work with you, not against you. The stakes are high not just for you but them as well because the industry they work in focuses on good work being done and recommendations by former clients. Building a good rapport will make the process smoother for everyone involved because if things go well, your relationship will mean more work for them and excellent results for you.

It might be tempting to sit and monitor everything every time, but you have chosen the best to help you bring your vision to life, so trust them to do it. They have experience and skills you aren’t aware of, so let them give you what you want.

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