Now the fun begins… you’re ready to start your project with the contractor of your dreams.
What should happen next?
- Your proposal should be completed, signed by both you and the contractor. You should have already met with the designer / suppliers and selected all your fixtures, finishes, paint colors and any other items being renovated, including floor coverings, moldings, handrails, etc. All these details should be present on the proposal. When you see an allowance in a proposal it equals an unknown. Unknowns lead to difficulties, delays and additional expenses. A good contract should not start until all the choices are made, with the exception of paint color.
- Has your contract included a copy of the change order and delay of work forms, and how these items are handled?
- Have you had a pre-construction meeting with your project manager where s/he will tell you about the day-to-day work to expect, including a schedule? Have you determined the best methods of communicating … do you prefer e-mail, phone calls to your office, on your cell phone, at your home? And, how frequently?
- Has an area in your garage (or home) been set up to store all the materials for your job, known as a ‘staging area?’ Have you established how the crew will get into your home? Where they will park? If a dumpster is needed, where will it be located? Will your driveway be protected so it won’t be damaged by a dumpster and / or the contractor’s vehicles? And, how will your home be protected in and around the renovation site? Will there be floor covering, continuous from entrance to work area? Will the work area be cordoned off? How will dust control be handled? Are they testing for lead (per law) before they start?
- Have you discussed working hours … what time do you want the crew to show up at your home and until what time can they work? Are Saturday’s ok?
- Have you established a payment schedule? You should know when funds will be needed so you’re prepared. Nothing should be a surprise.
- And, what about your kids and pets? How will they be impacted by this project? Your contractor should have already asked you about this, but make sure you discuss this with your project manager at your pre-construction meeting.
- Once the work begins, will there be a lead person on the job, like a project or production manager? This will enable all communication to through one person. If there’s no project manager, is there a lead carpenter who will be responsible for all communication and necessary paperwork? If the lead person on the job is the owner/ operator, is he available daily to speak to you, is he responsive, and is he responding with paperwork so you have everything documented.
- What expectations has your contractor set? Do you know what to expect?
We’d love to know what you’re thinking…