Break the Ice with Your Contractor, but Keep Joking to a Minimum

From on April 15, 2009 in General Remodel

laugh.jpgPhoto Credit: The National Guard

While it’s great to have a jovial relationship with your contractor, keep in mind it’s a business. As the client, you need to establish the ground rules before any work is done. Laugh at the process of remodeling, but not for too long.

The majority of contractors I’ve known have all been easy going and lighthearted people. They’re working to satisfy the needs of the customer and their crew. Nobody wants to hire a surly, gruff contractor. Therefore, it’s always in their best interest to crack a few jokes and break the ice. Return the favor, but let them know what you expect. Time wasted in idle chatter comes out of your pocket.

Having a good rapport with the customer usually leads to more jobs and better business. On occasion, knocking-off early or showing up late can be the side effect of a good relationship. Being too friendly with the contractor may lead to rules being bent or compromised. Establish the work parameters early and often.

digging.jpgPhoto Credit: Ecnerwal

Once that’s clear, then you can hammer out an estimated bid. Levity and joking will lighten the situation but make sure to explain exactly what you are looking for. With a good understanding of the job, most contractors can then give you solid figures on labor, materials, and a projected finish date. When the job is complete, the work should be inspected very carefully. If any discrepancies exist, ask for a discount to fix the situation. If you’re too close or friendly to the situation, you may overlook the problem and be stuck with a very unsatisfying remodeling project.

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