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Do These 5 Things And Your Contractor Will Love You

Do These 5 Things And Your Contractor Will Love You

Scott McGillivray is a real estate expert and host of HGTV Canada’s Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays.


A successful renovation isn’t all up to your contractor. What many people don’t realize is that even the most well-meaning homeowners can do things that annoy their contractor and slow down the process. So if you want to help speed up the process do these 5 things. I promise your contractor will love you for it!

1. Be Prepared

A disorganized homeowner can be a real headache for a contractor. And if your contractor is frustrated, that means your renovation could be slowed down. Before you hire anyone you should have a good idea of what you want, the budget you have to work with, and the timeline you hope to achieve it all in. Communicate all of this clearly and concisely with your contractor right from the start and you’ll set a good foundation for the rest of the relationship.

2. Respect Their Expertise

For a contractor there’s nothing worse than having clients constantly question their methods or challenge their competency. As a homeowner you have every right to ask questions and understand what’s being done to your home (and you should ask questions until you’re satisfied with the answers). However there’s a line between educating yourself and telling your contractor how to do his or her job. Ask as many questions as you can before the work starts, so that once the work is underway your project manager and trades can get to work.


3. Stay Out of the Way

Do you like having someone look over your shoulder while you work? Me neither. And neither does any contractor. Even if you’re doing it with the best of intentions (like for the sake of learning how your house works), it’s distracting, it slows them down, and it’s downright annoying. If you have questions and want to learn what they’re doing – great! But ask at the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or while he or she is taking a bit of a break. While work is going on take a step back and let the workers do their jobs.

Related: 5 Backyard Upgrades That Will Provide the Best Return on Your Investment.

4. Don’t Change Your Mind

By the time your contractor has started the work, he or she has created a scope of work, budgeted, ordered materials, scheduled trades and scheduled other projects around it. You changing your mind about something major will cause a huge ripple effect that will cost your contractor time and money. Don’t get me wrong – it’s perfectly understandable that you might have second thoughts about paint colours or hardware finishes midway through the process. But think long and hard before you sign off on a scope of work, because once the work is underway, changes will cause major headaches for everyone involved.

5. Keep Pets Out of the Space

In many households the chances are good that a lot of work will be done during the day while no one is home. If you have pets I highly suggest that you try to find other arrangements for them while the renovation crew is at work. Even if you have the best dog or cat in the world (doesn’t everyone…?) I guarantee that your contractor doesn’t want to have to deal with them. Tripping over a dog, worrying about the cat getting out – whatever the issue, this is not something he or she should have to worry about. Take them with you, leave them with a friend, arrange for daycare – whatever you can do to keep pets out of your contractor’s way will be greatly appreciated – I guarantee it.


Images courtesy of Buyers Bootcamp and Moving the McGillivrays.

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