7 Ways You’re Probably Annoying Your Contractor
After years of HGTV bingeing and pocketing away savings, you’ve finally done it: You’ve hired a contractor to turn dream to reality. Since this is about to be the most important relationship in your life for the foreseeable future, you’d do well to keep him or her happy. We called up our friend Scott McGillivray, contracting expert, star of Income Property, and spokesman for Owners.com, to find out seven things you really, really need to stop doing. Consider yourselves warned.
Changing Your Mind Late in the Game
Your contractor has invested a lot of time and effort in setting a budget, ordering materials, scheduling trades and arranging other projects around yours. (He has other clients too, folks.) When you change plans mid-reno, it causes a huge ripple effect, costing your contractor both time and money. Bottom line: Think long and hard, before signing off on the matte black kitchen hardware.
Hovercrafting (Aka Watching Them Work)
Do you like having someone look over your shoulder while you do your job? Yeah, we thought not. Even if you’re doing it with the least annoying of intentions (like for the sake of learning how a sink actually gets plumbed), it’s distracting, it slows them down, and it’s irritating as all heck. If you have questions, ask at the start or end of the day, or during a break.
Getting Too Personal
We know, it’s your house and you should be comfortable in it—but you also need to be sensitive to the fact that your home is a job site for your contractor. He does not want to hear you yelling at your kids or whining about how crappy your day was. He’s your contractor, not your confidante, so show some respect and keep things professional.
Asking the Crew to Do Chores
Even little chores like letting the cat out, accepting packages and taking messages distract from the task at hand. If you want a personal assistant, hire one.
Sourcing Your Own Materials...After They’ve Been Priced
Sure, everybody wants to save money, but you’ve literally hired someone to handle this work for you. Sourcing your own materials after the fact means your contractor has wasted time that could have been spent moving the project forward or working on other gigs—which may end up costing you in extra hours anyway. If you want to source your own materials, discuss it with your contractor before he puts in the work.
Telling How Something “Should” Be Done
Folks, we know you’re with us on this one: There is nothing worse than someone telling you how to do your job. If you’re a contractor extraordinaire and know better than the professionals, then why did you hire one in the first place anyway?
Insisting that Big Changes Are Actually Small Ones
While a last-minute alteration (like adding an outlet or shifting a fixture) is sometimes inevitable, these changes are not in fact easy. (That shifted fixture means both a hard-wiring adjustment and a big ol' hole in your ceiling.) If you find yourself in this position, don't make it seem like a small task. And be prepared to spend some extra time and money to make it happen.
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