How to Build a Good Client-Contractor Relationship
More often than not, clients and contractors would encounter certain problems for a project which is most of the time residential buildings. But if we think of it, it is important that clients and contractors have a good working relationship to come up with a more flourishing and swift flowing project. As a homeowner and client, you have to remember that the success of your house's construction lies on the contractors. Hence, you have to be cooperative and resolve issues at once before things come to worse.
First, you have to look for a contractor that has done many projects and have positive feedback about their works. You can ask friends or colleagues if they know a contractor that could do the job for you. Aside from feedbacks, you also have to look into their pricing. Don't get blinded by low prices because this could result into lower work quality. Most of the time, those who charge quite higher amounts perform better and will give you a good house as a result. So, if you have already chosen a contractor, the next thing that you need to do is to make sure that you will be able to build a good relationship with them. Here are some tips on how you can do that.
1. Know what you want.
Nothing could be more irritating than a client who doesn't know what he exactly wants. This may lead to many plan revisions, delay in construction and tons of misunderstanding. That is why, it is important that you are able to tell the contractor what you really want. If you are unsure, consult experts for they can give you a good advice about it. Have an "ideas folder" where pictures of what you want for your home are compiled. This way, it will be easier for you to explain it to the contractor. Once you have both agreed on it, don't change it anymore.
2. Know about the project.
You will be saved from worries and no issues will arise if you are fully aware of what the project's scope is, how long is the working process and every single detail of the project. Once you are aware of everything especially the timeline, you will be able to keep track of the construction and you will be free from worries.
3.Agree before starting.
Before the project starts, make sure that both parties have agreed about everything. When the budget, timeline, scope of work and other details are okay, then it is time to sign a contract. A contract binds both parties that they will both follow what they have agreed upon and will ensure security for both the client and the contractor too. Never ever start a project if things are still unclear.
4. Agree on payment.
Money is an important factor. As a client, you should pay your contractor timely based on how you agreed to make sure that the project will not stop. Remember that your payment is needed so that the contractor can buy materials, pay the workers, suppliers and others. Without your payment, your house construction will not be finished at once. So, be a good payer and pay according to what you and the contractor have agreed upon.
5. Follow work schedule.
The project has to remain on schedule. It can be ahead of the schedule but it should never be late. The client has to pay on time as what we have stated above because delayed payment or no payment will prevent the contractor and its workers to perform well due to lack of funds. It is the responsibility of the contractor to follow the schedule while it is the task of the client to pay on time.
6. Be kind and considerate.
The contractor is a human being and so are the workers too. It doesn't mean that just because you are paying them money that they are your slaves. That is why you have to be considerate all the time. Like if they are working overtime, you can show them small gestures of being thoughtful by merely giving them meals or snacks. This will save them time from buying meals to other places. Also, do not expect your contractor to answer your calls all the time. If it is already outside of normal business hours, don't call. They have their own lives too.
7. Be accessible and approachable.
Communication is an important thing especially when a big project is being worked on. There might be instances when big decisions need to me made at a certain time and the contractors need to reach the client at once. Hence, you have to be accessible even just through calls. If you cannot entertain these anytime, you can appoint a project manager to do it for you. Aside from this, you also need to be approachable so that the contractor will not hesitate to open things to you.
8. Stick with the house plan.
As always, a house plan is needed for a project. Everything in it are approved by the client and will be followed by the contractor. The client should avoid changing his mind about designs and others because this will be a total waste of time, efforts and materials. On the other hand, the contractor also need to follow the plan except on instances when the design doesn't fit the actual construction.
9. Express opinions constructively.
The way you talk and the words you choose greatly affects the message you want to convey. When expressing your opinion, say it well. Respect each other and be constructive all the time. This advice goes to both the client and the contractor. If both parties communicate this way, then things will flow smoothly.
10. Give the contractor referrals and honest feedback.
Show your appreciation to the good work of the contractor by referring them to other people and by giving them a good feedback. Contractors will feel good once you tell them how you love their work. Nice words from a happy client would encourage the contractor to give an exceptional service to their clients.
With a contractor around, the construction of your house is done effectively and timely at a reasonable cost. You have to be thankful that there are people who can help you build your dream house. On the other hand, the contractor has to be grateful too that they were chosen and trusted to work for the client. Both parties has to do their responsibilities well. It isn't hard to keep a good relationship as long as both have proper disposition and are willing to set issues straight before it worsens. Remember, it is better to settle things with the present contractor than to get another one which gives you an unfinished job and an increased project cost. Also, don't forget to consult other experts in building and construction once you have decided to build your house.