In order to prevent any misunderstandings during a residential construction project, it’s vital that the communication between a homeowner and a contractor is clear and effective. While a good contractor should always communicate effectively and be forthcoming, you as the homeowner should always make your expectations clear up front.
Tips to make the communication between a homeowner and contractor a little easier.
Know the Scheduling Ahead of Time
It’s important that the contractor provide the homeowner with a full schedule of the work to be completed, including the scheduled days of the week and hours that the work will be taking place. Not knowing the scheduling of a job can leave the homeowner inconvenienced. If the contractor has to make a scheduling change, he or she should let you know as soon as possible.
Request Information in Writing
Once you agree to hire a particular contractor, you should make it known what information you’d like to receive as the work progresses. The best way to avoid confusion and disputes is to make sure that your contract agreement includes a payment schedule, start and end dates of the project, and that any changes affecting price be approved in writing by both you and your contractor.
Additional things that you should ask for are:
- Detailed Receipts (Make Copies!)
- Daily or Weekly Work Reports / Work Logs
- Progress Photos (If You’re Not Living at the Residence Being Worked On)
You need to set boundaries at the very beginning and to have a free line of communication established that goes both ways. If there is any pricing or scheduling changes that occur, you should be notified immediately and provided a reason for why this is so. While texting and e-mailing certainly seem to be the most convenient methods and provide a detailed record of conversations that have taken place, it’s also recommended that the communication between a homeowner and a contractor ¬†have ongoing scheduled phone calls to reduce confusion.