The remodeling industry has changed significantly in the last 50 years. It has evolved from a trade or craft to a systematized process with many moving parts.
Today’s Renovators manage numerous construction materials and methods, coordinate many trade partners and suppliers, and deal with a variety of building codes and regulations. The complexity of these arrangements may distance homeowners from the actual remodeling process, and can cause uncertainty about where they fit in.
In fact, a homeowner's role during construction is more important than ever. The homeowner is still, ultimately, a leader in the project. By gaining a solid understanding of the building process, homeowners can provide an example of professionalism to the rest of the team.
Consider the following ‘leadership training’ tips that help define a homeowner’s role on a project:
• Education is key. It pays to learn about the building process and gain an understanding and respect for the pace, phases, and materials that go into a project’s construction. (That is one of our purposes in offering this newsletter.) This knowledge helps the client communicate with the remodeler and provides confidence as the project moves through stages of completion.
• Meet deadlines. Remodelers set deadlines for certain decisions so that materials and labor will arrive on the job site at a certain point during construction, enabling steady progress and on-time completion. Accordingly, builders need homeowners to agree on reasonable deadlines for decisions they have to make, such as selecting cabinets or flooring, and then stick to them. Meeting these deadlines helps keep the construction schedule on track, and sets a good example for the builder and his suppliers and subcontractors.
• Respect the change order process. Make sure the contract includes a formal process for managing change orders, which are decisions made (or changed) after an agreed-upon deadline. Most projects will have some changes, but they always cost money and often impact the schedule. It may take time to remove one product, wait for delivery of the new product, and install it. As professional renovators, we do our best to accommodate requested changes. For their part, homeowners need to understand the impact a change order has on costs and the schedule.
• Communicate. Communication is critical, so we ask our clients to share concerns, issues, and ideas. Come into the remodeling process with an open mind and feel free to ask questions. It’s best to keep a list and present questions during a scheduled meeting or on-site conversation with the builder, but an occasional ad-hoc phone call (during business hours) is fine.
As a professional renovator, we are proud of our business operations and systems. We partner with each of our clients. We understand and respect the relationship we have with our homeowners. Our savvy customers meet us part of the way, by educating themselves, sticking to deadlines, and asking quality questions.
This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Village Builders Inc