No matter if it's a renovation or a new custom home build the most important thing about the project should be the communication between the Contractor and the homeowner (the client).
Your contractor can be the greatest builder or renovator on the planet but if they do not make you feel like you are part of the process then you will start to wonder what they are doing and guessing on what is actually happening to your home while you are not there. The more you guess the more your liable to be wrong, the more your wrong the more it will frustrate you. It's your home, you should be kept in the loop.
After decades of building custom homes and renovating for people what I have learned is that people want a sense of control (even if they don't have any control). That sense of control helps them justify the large amounts of money that they are spending with their contractor.
They shouldn't be in control of everything (that's kinda why they hired a contractor) but it's called a "custom home" or "custom renovation", that's suppose to mean that they get to have choice and choice is a form of control. The more choices you are able to give someone the more in control they feel, that means that they feel like they have more control of where their hard earned money is going and they are going to get exactly what they want.
This is something that you should be looking for in a contractor before you even hire one. When you interview contractors you should talk less about the amount of money that will be charged for the job and more about the amount of time the contractor will spend communicating with you the homeowner.
In the area that we work in there is a large proportion of weekend or seasonal homes, that means that the majority of the work that is being done to a home or the actual construction of a new home is done with the homeowner being absent from the property. This means that it is the contractor that has to make sure that the homeowner is kept up to date on everything that is happening. This can be accomplished with email, text or phone calls. Pictures with descriptions attached to them will help the homeowner feel like they aren't missing anything. This will also help when you need to ask them a question or get them to make a decision, they will be able to understand at what stage their renovation is currently at.
Ask your prospective contractors the normal way they communicate with clients, the frequency that they do and the level of detail they will include in the communications. This will help everyone enjoy the process of building or renovating.
Communication is the key, don't settle for less.
Village Builders Inc.