Creating a seamless contractor/homeowner relationship really comes down to two things – communication and expectation management. When you get into the stresses that come with home renovations this can be easier said than done, so here are a few tips to help create a seamless contractor/homeowner relationship (with the ideal end result!).
Agree on a detailed scope of work
A scope of work is a detailed account of everything that will happen over the course of the project. Both the homeowner and contractor need to agree to these terms and sign the scope of work before starting. It should include:
- All of the work that will be completed, including anything the homeowner will be responsible for.
- All of the materials that will be used and a price range for them (include a note that states the homeowner will pay if the materials cost in excess of this amount, or will receive a credit if the materials cost less).
- A breakdown of all the costs for each phase of the project.
- A list of permits needed and who will be responsible for obtaining them.
- A detailed work schedule including start/finish dates and agreements about what will happen if these timelines are not met.
- A payment schedule.
Be Ready for Changes
The scope of work is the foundation of your renovation agreement but don’t think of it as an absolute final contract. The nature of renovating means that unexpected situations and problems will occur. It’s also possible that you (the homeowner) might want to do some things that hadn’t occurred to you when you made the original plan. These changes should be documented with a “change of work order” which includes the new work that has to be done and an invoice from the contractor. Attach this to the original scope of work so you have everything together. These documents will act as your working contract.
Nothing is worse than having someone hover over you as you’re trying to work. Whether you’re working in an office or in someone’s home, no one likes to be micromanaged. Granted, it’s your home and you have a right to expect a certain level of control, however once you’ve agreed on the work, be sure to give the tradespeople in your home space to do their jobs. Of course, if you see something that concerns you, you should speak up, and contractors should always listen and take homeowner concerns seriously. An environment of mutual trust and respect will benefit everyone and result in satisfaction from both parties.
It’s easy to say this before the job starts, but when you’re in the midst of a renovation – whether you’re the homeowner who can’t wait to get your house back, or a contractor who’s feeling the pressure of timelines and renovation surprises – frustrations can take over and people can become pretty short with one another. Do your best to remain positive and keep a level head – no matter what side of the project you’re on.
More and more, I rely on technology to manage my projects from start to finish – whether I’m acting as the contractor or the homeowner (these days I do a lot of both). I’ve partnered with bidmii, a platform that helps make renovations easy, right from the start. It’s a simple 3-step process. 1. Post a Project: Homeowners share photos and details of their project; 2. Compare Bids: Connect with local pros who will bid on the project. Homeowners select the best pro, at the right price; and 3. Book a Pro and: Secure your Payment.
Once a bid is accepted, the payment gets held in trust by bidmii until the job is completed to both parties’ satisfaction. Payment is often a sore spot, so this makes it easier and keeps everyone honest. Bidmii’s platform, with their two-way ratings and reviews system, helps build and establish trust so everyone can feel confident from the start.
Creating a seamless contractor/homeowner relationship doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you have the right attitude and tools at your disposal. As with most things, communication and expectation management are key!
Bidmii is a marketplace platform company based in Toronto, and available across Ontario. The bidmii platform is designed to streamline the process of bidding and paying for home improvement jobs, making life easier for both homeowners and contractors. At bidmii, our mission is to help people live better by getting things done. Bidmii delivers an unparalleled home improvement experience, to both homeowners and contractors alike. To learn more about how bidmii is disrupting the home improvement industry, one project at a time, visit www.bidmii.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.