Project Planning & Tips

Communicating with your contractor

In 1894, Labor Day became a US federal holiday. It was created to celebrate the craftsmen of the early labor movement and their contribution to this nation. Now, Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for the kids. Let’s honor the roots of the holiday by looking at ways to make the contractor-client relationship on your next Hardscape or home-improvement project a productive one.

September and October are popular months for home improvement projects. Work schedules aren’t as often interrupted by vacations. The weather gets a little cooler and drier – perfect for setting down pavers or indoor painting. It helps, too, that the kids are in school during the weekdays! It frees up time and space to complete the work.

Like the old saying goes, “Communication is key.” The best results don’t come from a good contractor. The best results come from a good relationship between contractor and client. Any contractor will tell you that clients can make or break a project. When you meet for an estimate, the experienced contractors will be interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them.

It can get tricky sometimes. Contractors are experts at construction, but you are the expert on your house. You know how its rooms, outdoor kitchen, pool area and landscaping are used on a daily basis. Both you and your contractor have the responsibility to meet each other’s expectations on budget, timing, and other details.

Make sure to keep communicating before, during and after the project’s completion. Contracts are definitely necessary but they can’t cover everything. Many tiny details and set-backs can’t be foreseen, so they aren’t included in the fine print. If you and your contractor understand and respect one another, you’ll work out the kinks. Speak up early and often about anything that bothers you. Contractors would rather fix things right away than have trouble later down the line. One insider trick that makes this easier? Texting. Ask if your contractor is willing to communicate over text. This can save a lot of time and awkward moments. Be sure to schedule a sit-down for any major setbacks, though. Nothing beats face time for handling the bigger issues well.

Daily communication is a good goal. This is your house and you’ll have to live with it. Your contractor wants you to be thrilled with the finished project. Do your part to make sure you will be.


Have a great Labor Day!

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