Communication is important in all relationships, and your relationship with your remodeler is no exception. Effective communication between your and your remodeler will reduce concerns and stress before, during, and after the building process. Here are some tips for keeping the lines of communication open at key points.
When selecting a remodeler-The best time to explore your level of comfort with a remodeler's communication style is while you are deciding on a remodeler to bid. These early communications often reflect how your remodeler will communicate during construction and after closing. Remodelers who are effective communicators will encourage your questions and provide satisfactory and prompt answers. Is your remodeler happy to give you a list of satisfied customers and encourage you to contact them.
As you reach a purchasing decision-Make sure you understand how you and your remodeler will discuss the project and its progress. In many cases a regular scheduled bi-weekly meeting is encouraged. In addition, find out how the builder feels about informal meetings, phone calls, and emails, and ask how quickly you can expect a response when you have a concern.
On seeing the schedule-The remodeler will present a detailed scope of work that outlines the construction process and schedule. Use the scope of work as a guide to gain a better understanding of the building process and ask clarifying questions. The construction schedule will also show deadlines for key decisions you must make, such as paint colors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and flooring materials. Make sure you let the remodeler know of your time constraints such as needing the work finished before the holidays, a special occasion and if that date is reasonable.
When working with change orders-An essential part of construction communication is the change order, which is the remodelers's procedure for making changes after construction begins. Few projects are completed without some changes along the way. Find out about this process before construction begins. Make sure you sign for and accept any increase in costs in writing when working with change orders.
Surface Protection & Dust control-What steps is your remodeler taking to ensure your health and protection of your interior cabinets, floors, doors and other finishes? Will your remodeler have a port-a-pottie on hand? If your home is built before 1978, is your remodeler taking steps to control for the presence of lead based paint? Has he presented you with the information you need to know regarding the EPA's mandatory RRP compliance laws?
Successful Remodeling-Good communication is a key to a predictable and sane building process that provides you and your family the remodeled home you desire and deserve.