Builder’s Best Client
Why be your builder’s best client?The answers are many but we will cover a couple of the most valuable. The biggest one refers to the statement “Time is Money” and after all it is your money. So here are some helpful recommendations to help you stay on task during this process.
1. Be prepared before breaking ground. In the big picture, delaying your start date will be less wasteful of every ones time and your money than hurrying a start date and ending up making change after change during construction. I encourage my clients to think through every part of design and major product selection before construction begins.
2. Discuss construction site visits. It is important to plan with your builder how often to meet at the site. Some builders prefer weekly visits to update decisions and discussions with subcontractors and some builders feel that frequent homeowner site visits detract from overall productivity and slow work schedules.
3. Don’t call Monday mornings. Monday morning is the most hectic time of the week on any job site. Unless you have a time sensitive reason to call the builder you should wait till Monday afternoon or Tuesday.
4. Take Notes. Take notes at every builder meeting. Agree to a person responsible for each task and the date each task is to be done. Set up a date and time for the next meeting before concluding. Make copies of your notes and distribute them to all persons involved. Carry a file binder with a permanent copy of each of your meeting note for future reference.
5. Have the builder present when you discuss any change orders with subcontractors. Subcontractors are generally instructed that the only change orders they receive will come from the builder. They should not receive any change orders directly from you, your architect, or your interior designer. This will help avoid unforeseen cost overruns caused by improperly authorized change orders.
6. Remember that job sites are often parking nightmares. Ask your builder where the best place for you to park at the site is so you don’t block in workers or material delivery drivers.
7. Treat workers with respect. Remember that everyone working on your home is also human. A simple hello or nod of acknowledgement is appreciated. A “Thank You” for doing good work is also appreciated. Simple rule “People who feel appreciated do their best work and you want their best work”.
8. Remember that your builder has another life. Be considerate when calling or asking for meetings after hours or on weekends. Your builder will appreciate your consideration and it will show in their handling of your project.
It has been said that your builder will become like a member of the family and that is not a bad thing. After all you are putting your trust in this person to oversee construction of probably one of the most expense investments you will ever own.
If you want your builders very best then respect the job they are performing for you and show them that you appreciate their efforts and you will reap the benefits of becoming their best client!
If you have experienced other things to help making working with a builder a better experience or have a question on this topic, please share you comment with us.