Another tough point in the kitchen remodel process for many home owners is transitioning between the planning process with your designer as lead, to the construction phase with the contractor as orchestrator. An experienced contractor once told me “there are ALWAYS unexpected matters that arise during construction”. Since we cannot predict the specific things that will arise for each project, it is best to strive to limit your frustration by establishing some simple guidelines for working with a contractor on your remodel.
To help consumer’s navigate through this sixth and final step in our process of renovating a kitchen, we suggest you follow these guidelines during the construction phase of your project:
#1 Establish Good Communication Early On
Beginning from when the drawing package is sent to contractors for bid, establish good communication between all team members. Determine if you will be hiring the designer to work on your behalf as construction administrator or if you will set up a single client contact to manage this portion of the project directly with the contractor. Discuss the contractors preferred mode of communication, such as, email, cell phone or office message service. Always ask how quickly a decision is needed on items requested for your approval, in order to insure the project time-line is not delayed.
#2 Expect the Unexpected
There will be surprises, delays, acts of nature, which can be frustrating to all parties. Our best advice is to be prompt in your selections and treat all team members with respect for their work and knowledge.
#3 Track all Changes in Writing
Keep track of all changes to your project scope and budget in a project journal format. For each item note the date, a description of the change, what or who prompted the change and any known costs. Request a written change order be sent between the contractor and your communication lead (designer or client) for any changes that have an increase in cost associated with the task.
#4 Be a Gracious Customer
Treat your contractor, all sub-contractors, installers and delivery personnel as professionals. We all like to be valued for our hard work, respond better to a positive environment and appreciate praise for a job completed on time. Show kindness towards everyone and offer cookies, coffee and water whenever you can.
The JOY of Design.
As an interior designer it is our job to educate and assist our clients. I’ve created a series of blogs to outline the best practices to obtain a beautiful and functional kitchen. Previous post from the series titled: SIX STEPS to Streamline the Process for Consumers can be found via the links below.
* Photo credit: HGTV 2015 Dream House Remodel