Active management of your communication with your contractor will result in the best outcome possible, and establishing that communication should be number one on your construction/renovation to-do list.
Your to-do list should include:
- Establish Strong Communication. Find out how the contractor prefers to communicate with his/her clients. They may want to see you on the job site daily or weekly to discuss work, while others may prefer just talking or texting. The contractor also may direct you to communicate with the foreman or project leader at a predetermined time, especially if the company is large and has several construction sites running at the same time.
- Project Journal. Strong communication with your contractor requires clear and concise record-keeping. Keep a journal to record your project’s progress, keep track of ideas or questions, and record product order numbers in this journal. It can be either paper or electronic, and it will be helpful in keeping track of product and material delivery dates and information about other trades that may be scheduled to complete subcontract work. The notes in your journal provide information that will be vital in the event of possible future disputes or confusions, should there be any. It’s not uncommon to encounter challenges as a project evolves, and any changes to the work itself should be recorded and reflected in an updated bid.
- Work Inspection. If something isn’t right, a great communicator won’t hesitate in letting others know right away. Check the work being done on your project; after the crew has left for the day is a good time to take a look at how things are going. Note in your journal any questions or concerns so that you can go over them at your next meeting. Check the location of such fixtures as doorways and windows, closets and stairs against the blueprint, and pay special attention to quality issues.
- Be a Good Customer. Being a good customer is probably the very best communication tip there is. The best way to get quality work from your contractor is to be a quality customer. Pay promptly, and be fair; don’t nitpick. Being friendly and accommodating to the team members will go a long way towards getting the job done well and in a timely manner. Get to know the team and greet them by name when you see them. Compliment work well-done, and maybe even provide drinks for all after a long, cold (or hot) day!
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to doing quality work, and we know that great communication with our clients gets the job done!