How To Get the Most From Your Contractor

So… You Need a Bathroom Renovation!

Your sink has a big chip in it and the faucet is leaking. The old vinyl floor is curling the corners and the pattern is worn. Your bathrub is worn and won’t clean anymore, besides you never take a bath and would rather have a shower anyway! You really hate the look of the counter top and well…. Its time…its just time. So who do you call and where do you start?

Maybe you have done a renovation in the past or maybe this is a first. You watch HGTV and you have heard all the horror stories and you worry that your contractor will “take you for a ride”! After all, this is your home and it is your sacred space….right?

Renovation Contractors are Not The Enemy!

There may be contractors who are desparate and are trying to get business at the expense of homeowners. However, that would be foolish from a business perspective, because there is an old saying in the industry that still holds true today.” You are only as good as your last job!” so why would any contractor want to have a bad reputation? They wouldn’t and they work hard and do the best for their customers, mainly because it makes them feel proud. Most tradespeople do what they do because they take pride in their skills and want their customers to be happy. They also know that more people will spread the word(word of mouth advertising) about their work if they look after them and make the job beautiful.

So What goes Wrong with Renovations?

Communication, or lack of it, is the biggest problem in a renovation project that isn’t going well. You, as the homeowner who is hiring a contractor to do the construction, must clearly and realistically communicate your scope of work to the contractor. He/she will happily do whatever you want and are ready to pay for, within the limitations of building codes and the skills of the contractor and his subtrades.

  1. The contractor is usually not an interior designer. They will do the job according to what they understand you want.
  2. They have expertise in construction and lots of experience with what works, what is more difficult and labor intensive, and what materials will work best in your situation, for the quality of finish you ask for.
  3. They usually won’t go shopping with you and they need clear direction on how you want your room to look. They will make suggestions, but they won’t be responsible for the decisions you make.
  4. If you change your mind and want them to redo some area, be prepared to pay the extra labor and materials, and be prepared for the extra time it will take. This will definitely make your project go over budget and it is not the contractors fault.

So the point of this section is to help you understand that clear planning and project management will save you and the contractor a lot of time, money and stress. No one wants to have to change things as you go. Sometimes, there are things that the contractor can’t see before starting the project, which require some changes, however, they are usually easily addressed and changes are minimal.

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