What you should know
Tips On Working With Your Contractor
Communication is key in order to get the results you want from your contractor. The first and foremost start to effective communication is becoming a virtual expert. Learn the terminology and the process. You may find out you may not know a lot about this stuff, but it is a good way not to get lost in jargon when your contractor talks to you. This will also allow you to talk to your contractor in a way that lets him know that even though you may not be able to do the work yourself, they can’t pull the wool over your eyes. Let your contractor know you want to be kept in the loop.
Get your project details in writing. Document Well.
You always want as much detail of the project in writing, that way nothing is left to chance. This way you can monitor what is going on, and if there are any unapproved changes or materials being used. Document anything that is being done that has not been approved. If you notice this happening, also take pictures when you can. Any written and photographic documentation will come in handy if you have to have “the talk” with your contractor or make a complaint to a licensing board. Get emailed project reports from your contractor. That paper trail will help you if you have any problems and help you sleep better at night if there is not.
Always have both involved.
Whenever possible, have both parties involved when talking to the contractor. If the contractor only sees and talks to one party during any decision making, then when the other party raises concerns to the contractor, that contractor will not respect what is being said.
If you have to have “the talk”.
If you have to confront your contractor, keep your emotions out of the conversation. Do not have the conversation with your contractor in front of the crew either. Nothing creates problems faster than a crew that has lost confidence in their boss. Instead of placing blame, come from a point of view of problem-solving. Constant communication is key in getting the job done. It is usually a lack of communication that has caused the problem and as long as all parties agree to solve the issue, everything usually goes smoothly.