Does the photo above remind you of a homeowner’s worst
Imagine your home is getting torn apart at the very seams
and it doesn’t appear to be coming to an end anytime soon. Some contractors
will be perfectly complacent in stretching out a project for weeks or even
MONTHS; leaving your home with the floors uprooted, plumbing turned off, and
walls falling down. This could leave your family in a bind, especially if
you’ve had to relocate for the duration of the project - no one wants to pay a
mortgage AND rent while also paying for construction. What if you’ve got kids
in the home and the construction team has left tons of sharp and potentially
dangerous tools laying around?
Sometimes, it might seem like the contractor isn’t taking
your experience, as a client, into account at all. Just focusing on the work
and what brings in the money, not considering that this is your home! This can
be a touchy situation for a homeowner because you want the contractor to do a
great job but you also need them to move quickly and keep their space tidy.
In some cases, if you’ve already gotten started with a
project and your contractor just isn’t performing in a way you expected, you
have to address it. The last thing any homeowner wants on a home improvement
project is to tip-toe around their contractor’s pride. But, you also don’t want
to come out guns a’ blazin’ the first time something goes wrong. Striking that
balance can be tough, especially since you’re spending so much money and
they’re in your space, your sanctuary.
A good contractor will be able to anticipate your questions
and concerns ahead of time but, on occasion, you may need to approach them.
Tact and thoughtfulness can go a long way in this situation. Always be
matter-of-fact in stating your concerns, we are all human, after all. But, if
nothing changes, you may need to be more direct - be as precise as possible
with examples to illustrate why you are unhappy with their performance. The
vast majority of contractors should do their best to make things right with
Start with the Right Contractor so you can Avoid a Nightmare
Firing a contractor and leaving a project incomplete is
probably the most accurate “Worst Nightmare” a homeowner can think of for a
home improvement project. Having to
fire a contractor is almost guaranteed to cost 1.5 - 2.0 times your original
budget. It’s always better to hire the right contractor first. Below, are some
tips for finding the right contractor for your job. Use this list to avoid a
bad situation altogether:
Hire a contractor who uses an in-depth Pre-Construction
phase. This is the part of construction that is, arguably, the most important.
Pre-Construction puts every part of the project into a week-by-week timeline,
planning every aspect of your construction project out to the T. Check out more
about Helton Remodeling’s Pre-Construction phase here.
Vet your contractor ahead of time. Ask for references and
reach out to those references with questions regarding the contractor’s
performance. See this blog post for some questions you should ask but also keep
in mind any of your specific concerns.
Ask your contractor about job-site cleanliness. This is
especially important if you won't be leaving your home during the construction
process. Helton Remodeling uses dust-free demolition practices to keep 99% of
dust within the job-site area. We use air-filtration, vacuums, and plastic off
pathways to carry debris to trash trailers. We also plastic barricade closet
and bedrooms doors to keep dust from traveling into those rooms for
particularly dusty jobs. These practices keep airborne dust from traveling
throughout the rest of the house which can effect allergies and your day-to-day
living experience. We also keep job related materials and tools in
owner-designated spots, usually a corner of the worksite and a place in the
garage. We feel this can make all the difference for the homeowner's
Determine if you can trust this person. You shouldn't be on
house arrest just because your home is under construction. Ask if they run
background checks on all of their employees during the hiring process. You can
even ask their references if they felt comfortable leaving the home while
construction was going on.
When creating a timeline and budget for your project, your
contractor should be honest, even if it means telling you that some of your ‘must-haves’
might extend the timeline. Transparency can seem like it’s hard to come by in
the construction industry, especially when you hear horror stories from your
friends or family. There are some things that you can look for to ensure that
you’re truly getting the quality of service that you’re paying for.
Ensure that the contractor you choose prides themselves on
completing projects within the predetermined timeline and budget by asking
questions. There will always be outliers and variables that can’t be foreseen
or controlled, Texas weather being a big one! Regardless, your contractor
should be prepared and keep you informed of anything that may arise.
**Helton Remodeling Services, LLC provides quality models
and additions in the Metro Austin Area.**
We partner with award winning interior designers and
architectural firms to make your dream project become a reality.