7 Tips: Establishing a Good Relationship with Your Contractor

Published On:

7 Tips: Establishing a Good Relationship with Your Contractor

Bo Sparks - President - Co-Founder Custom Timber Log Homes

Establishing a good relationship with your contractorEstablishing a good relationship with your contractor:

You’ve decided you want to forgo purchasing a standard home and instead build a log home custom tailored to you.  That’s an exciting, rewarding experience, but it can also be quite complicated.  Fortunately, you don’t have to build your custom log home alone, and, unless you’re a builder yourself, you really shouldn’t try.  For most people, once they make the initial decision to build a custom log home, they must next decide who will build it for them.

Hiring a good contractor can remove a great deal of stress for you during the build.  Contractors have the experience and knowledge to oversee each building project and plan for issues before they arise.  In addition, they can often receive discounts on supplies that you wouldn’t be able to obtain for yourself.

You will be working closely with your chosen contractor and his crews for several months, and it is definitely beneficial to maintain a good relationship with your contractor.  Hiring and working with a contractor can be a new experience for many people.  Below, you’ll find some helpful tips to help you maintain a good relationship with your builder and get the beautiful home you’ve always wanted.

1.  Hire the right person

First, make sure you hire the right person for the job.  Set up a meeting with each potential builder, ask him questions, and decide which one is right for you.  Make sure you feel comfortable with him and that you trust his honesty and integrity.  Ask to see pictures or tour some of his previous builds.  Also, make sure the contractor you choose is licensed and insured.

2.  Know what you want

It is best to have a general idea of what you want before meeting with your contractor.  You should already have decided on things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, stories, etc.  It is helpful if you know approximately how large you want your log home to be.  Bring in pictures of homes you like.  The more decisions you’ve made before meeting with your contractor, the better his estimate for building your home will be.  In addition, he will have a better idea of your sense of style and your preferences, which will help him make future suggestions for your home.

3.  Make decisions in a timely fashion

There will be times throughout the building process that you will be asked to make decisions regarding some aspect of your home.  It may be your choice of kitchen cabinets, windows, or paint colors.  Whatever the decision, don’t dawdle.  If you put off making important decisions, your contractor may have to reschedule supply shipments or subcontractors, which could end up costing you time and money. Plus, the faster you make decisions, the faster your contractor can build your new log home!

4.  Minimize changes

Every time you make a change, it slows down the process of building your home.  Changes are not only time consuming but could also add to the cost of your project.  This is why it is important to plan ahead.  Some changes are probably inevitable, but minimizing them will keep your project moving forward and keep your contractor smiling.

5.  Be interested, but don’t get in the way

Remember that your contractor has a job to do.  While it is important for you to ask questions and stay up-to-date on the progress of your build, hovering over your contractor is a sure way to slow things down.  Consider visiting your job site to check progress once a week.  This will give you the opportunity to watch your log home take shape, while still allowing your contractor to work unencumbered.

6.  Communicate

Make sure you feel comfortable asking your contractor questions throughout the build.  One of your contractors’ jobs is to keep you informed.  Also, if you feel uneasy about any aspect of the build, speak up!  This is your home, after all.  Your contractor is not a mind reader, so don’t expect him to know what you want without your talking to him.  In addition, take the time to compliment your contractor.  It’s always nice to feel appreciated.

7.  Show them the respect they deserve

Your contractor has worked hard to gain a high level of knowledge and experience in his field.  Make sure that you show him respect regardless of any build-related issues.  Ways that you can show him respect are:

  • Show up on time to meetings
  • Consider all of his suggestions before making decisions
  • Always speak to him in a courteous manner
  • Communicate openly with him
  • Resolve issues calmly

Establishing a good relationship with your contractor will make your life—and his—easier.  Trust yourself to hire the right person.  Take an interest in your building project by occasionally visiting the job site and asking questions.  Then, step back and let them work.  You’ll love the results!