1) Having a plan.
This doesn’t mean you have to go it alone, in fact it is better to have your contractor of choice with you as you plan so that we are all on the same page. A well thought through plan will aid immensely in reducing or eliminating stress related to any project.
A plan should consist of the following:
- Design concept that is agreed to and understood by both the homeowner and the contractor who is to build it.
- A budget that is both agreed to and understood by both homeowner and the contractor and who is to operate within it.
- Timeline expectations for starting, progress and completion. Ensure everyone is on the same page.
- If a change is required for a valid reason by either the homeowner or the contractor, have a process in place on how you want to evaluate the change and the impact it will have on the original plan. Does it change your design, how does it impact your budget or your timeline. Once these are clearly understood by both the homeowner and the contractor, and you agree to move forward, adjust your plan to accommodate and reflect the change.
Having a plan in place is critical.
Having a plan that is flexible that can adjust to potentially changing needs of a project is paramount for keeping stress to a minimum.
2) Know what to expect and know your limits.
This may seem obvious, but when a project gets underway and something is not as you thought it would be (yes even if we are not aware, we have an idea of what we expect to happen and when it is not as we thought, stress shows up).
Knowing your limits can reduce stress significantly.
Items to consider that may unknowingly impact your limits are:
- How many workers will be on site at given time? Where will they park?
- What time of day do you expect work to start and to end at your home? How much noise will there be?
- Where and how will garbage be stored? How will it be contained and when will it be removed from site?
- How will the contractor contain the impact of the renovation to the area being worked on and not have it impact other areas of the home or your neighbors etc.? Smoking on site? Where are they eating lunch? Are they listening to music that is not your taste etc.?
- Contractor foot and vehicle traffic in and around your property.
- Do you have pets that will need special attention?
The list can go on, the purpose of this list is to act as a primer to help you think about what some of these expectations may be, that you were not aware of.
3) Effective communication.
The contractor is human too, they like to hear when they are doing job well done and that you are happy with what you see. But sometimes there are things that happen that aren’t what you expected; equally be honest with your contractor when something is not measuring up. How you say what you say is just as important, if not more important, than what you are communicating. Be honest, be fair and respectful and there is a great chance you will be heard and the same style of communication should be reciprocated back to you.
In the end, a reputable contractor truly wants you to be 100% satisfied with the work they have done for you. If there is a concern, communicate it immediately and if you like what you are seeing, do the same 🙂