Communicating with Your Contractor Before Your Project Begins
A home renovation project can be an expensive, time-consuming job. Before you begin work, it’s important to make plans that will help your project run smoothly. At least one week before construction work begins, schedule a pre-construction meeting at your home and talk to your contractor about factors that may impact your renovation.
Work Days and Hours
Most construction companies have set, daily work hours, but they can vary with unforeseen construction problems and project revisions. Define your contractor’s work hours and your own expectations, especially if you’re living in the house while work is being done.
Access and Security
Discuss daily access requirements, restrictions, and alarm security codes with your contractor, so construction workers can be properly informed. Whether you plan to leave a key each day or assign a temporary alarm code, arrangements should be made prior to scheduling work. Don’t forget about locked gates and fences that will restrict property access.
Depending on your neighborhood, parking space for vehicles, delivery trucks, dumpsters, and construction equipment may be limited or require a city permit for street parking. Make necessary parking arrangements before construction begins and make sure they don’t interfere with trash pickup days.
During your pre-construction meeting at your home, it’s important to walk around your property and make arrangements for property protection. This may include installation of temporary doors and walls, packing up interior items that are valuable or fragile, and outdoor tarps for landscaping areas to protect grass, plants, and trees.
Utility Lines and Shutoffs
During your pre-construction property inspection, be sure to point out gas and water shutoff valves and electrical panels, which may be located inside or outside the house. If you have appliances like a deep freezer, or specialty features like a pool, spa or outdoor fountain pump, or exotic fish tank that should not be turned off, make sure construction workers know.
Household Workers and Pets
If you have regular household help or a gardener, let your contractor know what days they will be on-site. If you have pets who will be in the house or yard during construction, make sure the construction crew is aware of them. Construction noise and disruption is often stressful for animals. Pet care and safety should not be your contractor’s responsibility, so make sure your pets are safe.
If you’re planning a home renovation project, it’s a good idea to inform your immediate neighbors before construction work begins. Neighbors are often impacted by nearby construction due to noise and additional vehicles and equipment in the neighborhood. If you have elderly neighbors or families with small children close by, they may be particularly sensitive to the noise and disruption.
As a side note, Smith Brothers welcomes calls from neighbors should there be a need.
Establish a line of communication between you and your contractor for project updates and progress reports. This could be set up by email, weekly meetings or project management reports. Get phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency contact information for the contractor and construction foreman, and give them your contact information as well. As the renovation project progresses, you may think of dozens of questions that were not addressed. Unless it’s an emergency, make a list of your questions and address them in your emails or weekly meetings, rather than frequent phone calls to your contractor.
If you enjoyed this blog you may want to read our blog about, “A Contractors Contract: Tips for Spotting Integrity and Honesty.”
Smith Brothers is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.