If you’re planning a home improvement project, it’s always best to hire licensed home remodeling contractors. They have the network, the knowledge, and the trade secrets you’ll need to ensure a smooth, seamless, and stress-free renovation.
The best case scenario is that you, as the homeowner, find yourself an honest, trustworthy contractor. And one that fits all your specifications, too. After all, you’ve probably heard some truly horrible remodeling contractor horror stories—the homeowner was lied to, ripped off, walked out on, or basically ended up with the short side of the stick—and you want to avoid that at all cost.
However, there are times where the homeowner—despite their best intentions—make things significantly more difficult for the contractor, consequently interfering with their job. Don’t think that’s possible?
Believing You Can DIY Some Areas
We are quite aware of how popular the “DIY” trend has gotten. Home improvement newsletters, websites, and magazines all seem to emphasize the joy of “doing it yourself.” They reiterate how you’re learning valuable life skills and saving money in the process if you try to do some aspects of the remodel yourself.
The reality, however, is that this isn’t always the case. In fact, more often than not, trying to do parts of the remodel yourself may lead to you spending more money than you initially intended—if not on the materials, then on the professional repairs needed to correct your mistakes.
If this is your profession, then by all means; retile the floor, repaint the walls, or install the new sink yourself. But if it isn’t, save yourself—and your contractor—the trouble. Don’t overestimate your abilities when it comes to remodeling your home. Invest in licensed professionals, step back, and let them handle it.
The Takeaway: Home remodeling contractors already have a lot to manage during regular remodels. If you add the aftermath of your DIY attempts to their to-do list, you’re just stretching the timeline to max capacity—and doing no one any favors.
Requesting Changes During the Remodel
Sometimes, in the middle of the remodel, homeowners change their minds. We’ve seen it often enough to know that this is a lot more common than one would think. They see a picture of a gorgeous wraparound deck in a home magazine or they visit a friend’s home to see their newly installed skylight, and that’s it. They’ve fallen in love and now want the same thing for their home.
The common misconception regarding home remodeling is that it’s “easy” to request a change order right in the middle of construction. Most homeowners rationalize it with arguments like, “Oh, we already have a supplier, anyway. We can just order more materials,” or, “It’s not like we’re changing the design; just the color and placement.”
And, one of the best ones: “Well, you can always just put it back, right?”
The Takeaway: The entire remodeling process is not as simple or straightforward as “putting something back.” Everything needs to be planned and accounted for beforehand, so requesting something completely new while renovation is happening can inconvenience literally everybody.
Related Content: 3 Things Which Can Delay Your Home Remodeling Project
Being Vague About Your Timeline
It all boils down to honesty. If you want your contractor to be fully upfront with you, then you need to extend the same courtesy.
Home remodeling contractors will usually take on several projects at once if their main contract (aka, you) has a flexible timeline. So if you tell them that you’re not in a hurry or you’re vague about your expected completion date—in an effort to “make it easier” for them, or to “not seem pushy”—they will take that as is.
What does this mean?
It means that your project becomes a low priority. They’re still going to work on it every day, of course, but they’re going to take their time. They’re going to prioritize cost-value over time-value. And—unfortunately—they will also prioritize other projects with shorter, surer timelines or hard completion dates.
And once you go and confront them about it, they’re going to be completely thrown. Because you didn’t give them a detailed enough timeline. You didn’t give them a specific date. You allowed them to think you had a flexible schedule because you didn’t set weekly expectations or you didn’t emphasize a need for immediate completion.
Related Content: How Long Will it Take to Remodel My Home?
The Takeaway: When working with home remodeling contractors, don’t be afraid to set hard deadlines. Give them a sure timeline (i.e., 4 to 6 weeks, 3 months, before the 30th of September) with time-sensitive expectations—like weekly or bi-weekly updates and specific milestones.
In the end, it’s all about mutual respect and understanding. Home remodeling contractors are human too, and most of them just want to do a good job for a client they like. As long as you’re aware of and are upfront about your boundaries and limitations, you can expect the same courtesy from whichever professional you hire.