When working on a remodel, effective Contractor-Client Communication (CCC) best prepares you for an on-time project that meets expectations. We interviewed hundreds of bay area contractors to uncover how preparation and open communication achieve an optimal outcome.
How to Prepare Yourself For a Proper Communication
The first place to start is with yourself. Knowing what you want ahead of time will help you get what you want out of your remodel. If there are multiple parties involved in the decision making, come to a consensus on differing issues before engaging the contractor.
Actively schedule time to discuss plans with all parties to get ahead of possible confusion down the road. Pictures of your vision will eliminate confusion among the group and with your contractor, so have all parties come to your scheduled meetings with pictures of their vision.
When a consensus is made for each detail, save the winning pictures to show your contractor. While going through the details, prioritize your decisions and share with your contractor as well so your must-haves happen.
Also consider your expertise in renovations: if you and your party are first-time renovators, a contractor experienced in working with similar client types will help you navigate the overwhelming project. Lastly, just as you want a proactive and focused contractor, they want their experience to be as seamless as possible.
Staying on top of tasks and keeping a realistic expectation can go a long way in determining a project’s success. Since you are an integral part of the project, you are just as accountable for its success.
Making the Right Decisions and Choosing the Right Contractors
Once your party comes to an agreement on all decisions, put a similar amount of preparation into choosing your contractor. Start with research: read reviews online, ask friends and family for recommendations, and interview contractors. Visit former clients to get an understanding of his or her work.
During the interview process, in addition to their work quality and business experience, prioritize whether your personalities and work styles mesh. The more you and your contractor want to work together and understand each other, the more successful the outcome.
If the relationship begins to sour at any point in the process, it is far better to stop where you are, part ways, and find someone better aligned to your personality.
Avoid Being the Person to Delay the Process
When you’ve found your contractor match, keep realistic expectations once the process starts. Do not make any changes to the space until there is a written contract that you and your contractor have signed. While all parties will try to stick to the pre-determined timeline, completion dates can come and go – especially if you miss an important criteria or task. Another reason to thoroughly vet your contractors is that someone with multiple projects might have delays in one affecting others. Understanding the environment your contractor is in with proper vetting and communication is a good way to maintain realistic expectations.
Being Nice to Each Other
Once the project is complete, as you spoke to and looked at previous projects in your research, offer to be of assistance to your contractor in a similar capacity. Since there are so many nuances to finding the perfect contractor fit, offering to help, writing a nice card, or giving a thoughtful gift goes a long way in case you are lucky to have the opportunity to work together again.
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