When you entrust your home and your vision for it into another person’s hands, it can sometimes feel like scary stuff, especially if this is your first time hiring a contractor for a job around the house. But just like any professional, you can cultivate an excellent relationship with them to make the process a breeze for both parties and enjoy fantastic results. No matter who you are and what the job is, you have an opportunity to forge fruitful contractor relationships for your home.
Finding the right one might not always be easy, but through referrals, reviews and asking around, you can find someone skilled and experienced to start off on the right foot with. While not all contractor relationships end well, you can ensure that when you find the right person for the job, everything will be smooth sailing from the jump. Here are a few quick tips to build a great relationship with your contractor.
1. Start With the Contract
The word “contract” is part of the name for a reason. By having a clear and concise contract to work from, you can have a written agreement of both parties’ expectations for your reference. Among other things, having a contract makes communication between you and your contractor much smoother, so you can have a vision of what each stage of the process will look like. You can even build the contract together to communicate from the very beginning of the process.
2. Listen to Their Expertise
While honesty is the best policy on your part and your vision for the work should always be a priority, remember that you hired a professional for a reason. When it comes to the technical side of things — as long as you know you trust them — it’s likely best to defer to their best judgment on the matter. You can always do independent research, but nothing compares to an expert’s practical, hands-on knowledge. Collaborate, but let them lead the way where they know best.
3. Say What You Mean
One of the best ways to keep communication going with your contractor is to speak your mind. Don’t be afraid to hold back about your preferences and ideas. You’ve probably dreamed about this construction project for years, and though contractors are experts in their field, they’re not mind readers. If you have specific ideas and preferences for your home, bring them to light, as that’s the best way to realize and accomplish them.
4. Work Together
Speaking of collaboration, one of the best ways to build a positive contractor relationship is to consistently work together on different aspects of the project. Make yourself available for questions and collaborative conversations so it feels like an open-ended interaction — because it should be. When you work together on things, you can have a smoother relationship and achieve results that align with what you’ve envisioned.
5. Make It Easier
Like opening yourself to collaborate, you can make the whole process a bit smoother for your contractor and their team, and in turn build an even better relationship with them as you go. Asking your contractor if they need anything to make their job easier while they’re in your home can go a long way. You never know what might help them go the extra mile in their day-to-day work. Again, two-way communication is crucial. When both parties feel comfortable asking for what they need, the relationship will feel more natural.
6. Involve Yourself in the Plan
Another way to build a positive relationship with your contractor from the very beginning is to involve yourself in the project’s planning process. Not only can this allow you to take more of a hands-on role, but it can also feel like you’re offering to help turn your dreams into reality.
Constructing the Relationship You Want
Having a productive contractor relationship is about so much more than finding someone you trust — it’s also about communicating with them effectively and routinely, so you can achieve your ultimate vision for your home. No matter what you’re working toward, starting with a contract, being honest and working together with two-way communication can bring your project into its full potential. It’ll involve effort on both sides, but when you’re willing to make the stretch, you’ll find it’s well worth it by the time the project comes to its smooth finish.
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. She has over three years of experience writing industrial topics for the construction, manufacturing and supply chain industries