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6 Ways to Build a Successful Partnership with Your Contractor

April 11th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Michael Flory

Construction workers

Remodeling your home can be a daunting task, one that often requires the expertise of a professional independent contractor. Not knowing what you can do to improve this relationship can often be counterproductive to completing your project.

While you may have a clear vision for your home's new design, successfully executing it requires a healthy and successful partnership between you and your contractor.

As an experienced Mid-Michigan design-build company, we understand the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with our clients. 

By fostering effective communication, clarifying expectations, and creating a collaborative environment, we work to ensure that our clients have a positive remodeling experience and a finished product that exceeds their expectations.

Conversely, when our clients take steps to foster a positive relationship with us, it leads to an even stronger partnership and improves their remodeling experience. 

In this article, you’ll learn strategies to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the contractor you hire to complete your home remodeling project.

contractor looking at construction plans

1. Build and have trust in your contractor’s ability.

Developing trust is an indispensable aspect of forging a fruitful relationship with the people building your remodel. Trust is the bedrock of any successful partnership, and the relationship between you and your contractor is no exception.

Hiring a contractor to make major, lasting changes to your home requires a level of trust between you and them. Your contractor will be in your home, often for an extended period, and you should trust the people you hire to do this job.

To build trust with your contractor, it's essential to have open and honest communication from the outset. Convey your expectations clearly, and ask any questions you may have about your project so you don’t feel like you’re in the dark. 

Also, be open to feedback and constructive criticism from your contractor, as this can help build their trust in you. By hearing their opinions, they’ll know that you care about them. 

This not only further builds trust but often is mutually beneficial because it may result in your project being completed sooner.

By building a foundation of mutual trust, you can create a relationship that is based on respect, open communication, and a shared commitment to achieving your home remodel project.

2. Give your contractor access to your home, even when you’re not there.

If you are not comfortable giving keys to your contractor or having them work inside your home while you're away, these are things that will not build a successful partnership between you.

The value of using a full-service design remodel company requires that you allow your contractor full access to your home during the project. You’ve hired them to handle all aspects of your remodeling project from construction to management.

If you don't trust your contractor enough to allow them access to your home, it might be best to reevaluate what you want your remodeling experience to look like.

If you want to have an active role in your home remodel, consider self-managing your project. By doing so, you can have a more active role in hiring and managing each of the subcontractors who work to complete your project.

However, for a full-service or design-build remodeling experience, work needs to be completed at your home, often while you’re away. Giving your contractor keys and access helps to lay the groundwork for a successful partnership.

3. Have all decision-makers involved in your contractor’s process.

Having all decision-makers involved in your contractor’s process is another crucial aspect of building a successful partnership.

When it comes to remodeling projects, there can be a lot of opinions and expectations to manage. For your project, your spouse or partner might have their own ideas about what they want from the finished product or the overall experience.

Having everyone on board and participating in the contractor’s process ensures that there are no surprises or misunderstandings along the way. It also helps to ensure that the end result is one that everyone is happy with.

In addition, having everyone involved in the process creates a sense of ownership and accountability for the project. When everyone has a say in the planning and decision-making process, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome and take responsibility for ensuring its success.

4. Assume your contractor has your best interest in mind at all times.

Living in a home undergoing a remodel can be stressful. As construction progresses, it's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, inconvenienced, and anxious about the state of your home.

During these times, it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that your contractor isn't focused on your best interests or even has ulterior motives. It's important to keep in mind that your contractor has your well-being in mind, even during these stressful periods.

Knowing that your contractor only has your satisfaction in mind can help to keep your partnership calm and focused on achieving the same goal - completing your project.

5. Avoid micromanaging the people constructing your project.

It is essential to be involved in your remodeling project to ensure that it meets your expectations. However, it's important to strike a balance and avoid becoming a burden to those working in your home by micromanaging or being overly nosy.

Micromanaging can make your contractor feel undervalued and undermine their confidence in their ability to do the job. It can also disrupt the flow of the project, as your contractor may feel obligated to seek your approval for every decision, no matter how small.

Being nosy, on the other hand, can create an uncomfortable environment for those working in your home. It can make your contractor and their team feel like they are being watched constantly, which can be stressful and undermine their productivity.

By finding a happy medium between being an active participant in your project and not becoming a nuisance to those working in your home, you can ensure a successful partnership.

6. Understand that there are going to be tension points during construction.

Before deciding to undergo your home remodel, it's important to understand that stressors and frustrations are a normal part of the process. 

No matter how well-planned or executed a remodel is, there are going to be unexpected challenges along the way.

By acknowledging this ahead of time, you can set appropriate expectations for your project and be emotionally prepared when these problems arise.

It's also important to understand that the cause of this tension may not be the fault of the contractor. Home remodeling projects are complex and often involve many variables that are beyond your contractor's control.

However, because your contractor is building and managing your project, they are ultimately responsible for ensuring these tension points have a minimal impact on you, your project, or your home. 

Unforeseen delays, unexpected changes in your project’s scope, and other problems can happen at any time, and it's important to recognize that these are normal parts of the process.

By understanding and acknowledging that potential stressors will occur, you can approach your project with a more positive mindset and work collaboratively with your contractor to overcome any challenges that arise.

Next steps to select the right contractor for your home remodel

Undertaking a home remodeling project can be a challenging endeavor that often requires the services of a contractor. 

However, failing to establish and maintain a positive relationship with your contractor can be counterproductive to the success of your remodeling project.

Fortunately, taking the time to learn how you can improve your relationship with your contractor can help to give you a positive remodeling experience and ensure you have the home you’ve always dreamt of.

Our mission at Custom Built is to not only design and build the dream spaces of Mid-Michigan homeowners, but to also educate you on everything related to home remodeling.

If you’re planning to remodel your home and are interested in learning more about our services, reach out to our team of expert home remodelers. We’d be happy to discuss if we’re the right fit for you and your home remodeling needs.

To learn more about finding the right home remodeling contractor for you, read the following articles:

Image source attributed to Freepik

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.