There are many steps to the remodeling process, from planning to demolition. Along the way, homeowners and contractors must communicate effectively and honestly. A lack of communication may slow down the project and lead to unexpected challenges. Here are a few more of the reasons strong communication is vital when taking on a home renovation process.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about tips for communication during a home renovation – here are some ideas & tips to get you started.
1. It Prevents Repeated Information
A lot goes on behind the scenes of a remodeling project. Contractors are working on multiple tasks, from ordering supplies to installing new fixtures. Homeowners should ensure their vision is communicated to everyone on the team. Take the time to inform the architects about your design plans.
Ensure they relay this information to the contractors. It’s frustrating to explain your plans to multiple people when the team doesn’t communicate internally. Therefore, read reviews about the company and speak with the contractor before hiring them. This allows you to find a reputable one who knows the value of teamwork.
2. It Allows You to Set a Schedule
You have a busy schedule and don’t have time to communicate daily with your contractor. Plus, they are busy ensuring the project is completed on time, so it’s good to schedule when you plan to get together. Pick a specific time and day each week to make it more consistent.
Use the time to discuss the type of materials you want, the design theme, and your overall budget. This prevents any unexpected changes from delaying the project’s timeline. Suppose you wait to speak up about switching the flooring supplies. The contractor then has to order the new material, which takes time and wastes money. You should get updates on the progress of the renovation during your meeting.
3. It Lets Contractors Make the Best Choices for You
Remember, it’s your home and you want it to reflect your personality. Let your builder know if you have any concerns or things you want to change. For example, maybe you want to switch from vinyl to composite roofing. Express your reasoning and allow your contractor to give you feedback. They are knowledgeable and can guide you in the right direction to make smart choices.
However, you still want to feel like you’re part of the process. Do some research on different materials. Also, consider ones that increase your home’s value for long-term savings. Hardwood floors are a wise investment, so suggest this to your contractor and have them help you pick out a specific kind. They’ll find one that fits your current lifestyle and budget.
4. It Helps Keep Track of the Little Things
Details can fall through the cracks when you have a lot on your mind. You may have an idea of the budget, timeline, and overall design plans, but you communicate about the smaller stuff, like when you will be away from home. Your contractor should be mindful of this. That way, they can avoid heavy construction when you’re having a family meal. Plus, it gives your clan a sense of privacy.
Another thing to consider is having a cleanup plan after each workday. This is important because power tools lying around are dangerous for younger children. Hashing out these small details can make the home renovation process less stressful. Also, remember to get budget estimates along the way so there are no surprises at the end. Try to find a contractor who is transparent about pricing.
5. It Prevents Delays and Unexpected Costs
Without proper communication, changes to design plans or unexpected issues delay the project. This pushes back deadlines and increases total costs. Before any work begins, sit down with your contractor and go over everything.
Be sure to discuss the following:
- Your goal for the renovation
- Your style preferences
- The total budget
- The expected completion date
- How you will communicate any design changes and deal with issues
A plan allows you to deal with challenges without disrupting the process. It ensures contractors have the right materials and information to do the job. Consider getting specific procedures in writing, such as change orders.
6. It Clarifies Material Budgets
You must communicate how much you can spend on materials before starting the project. Consider what supplies you want to use and research available prices. You can also look at design magazines or other people’s homes for inspiration. Having an idea of what you expect to pay can prevent unexpected charges.
Work with your contractor to develop a precise estimate for the materials allowance. They should clarify any questions about how the final price is determined. Plus, discuss how design changes will affect the materials allowance before making purchases.
7. It Reduces Feelings of Anxiety
Without proper communication, you can get overwhelmed with what you should be doing. You may feel pulled in multiple directions between approving finishes and discussing payment. Consistent communication can put your mind at ease by allowing you to focus on one task at a time. Ask your contractor what you can do to help move the home renovation along. For example, could you pick out a few paint samples for the room?
Also, use weekly meetings to check-in and get any questions answered. In addition, contractors should effectively communicate with their whole team. That way, everyone is on the same page about their role and isn’t just waiting around. This can help prevent misunderstanding and extended deadlines.
8. It Allows for a Smooth Closing Process
The project is not complete even when all the structural and design work is done. Walk through the house with the contractor and see if any changes or issues still need to be addressed. Write these down in what is called a punch list. It may include items like damaged materials or incorrect installations. The builder should then fix these problems right away.
You could have an unfinished result if you don’t communicate after the project is done. This could lead to costly repairs down the line. Plus, it could leave a bad reputation for contractors and hurt their business in the long run. Customer satisfaction is a key component of any successful business.
The Importance of Proper Communication
Communication is essential for every step of your home renovation. Meet with your contractor to discuss project specifications at the beginning. Hold regular check-ins throughout the remodel and conduct a final walkthrough. Clear communication is critical to preventing delays, unexpected costs, and misunderstandings and will result in a home renovation you can be proud of.
When it comes to home renovations, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com
Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.