Whether you’re planning a large kitchen addition, a detailed historic renovation or a small bathroom remodel, the key to a successful construction project is clear and open communication with your Main Line or Philadelphia remodeling contractor. From the design phase to punch list, there must be a constant dialogue between you, your contractor, and the entire team involved with bringing your project to fruition. A breakdown or lack of communication can affect every aspect of your remodel; but just what does successful communication really mean?
Open Lines of Communication
Even the most experienced contractor is not a mind reader, and the best clients are not always sure about how to make their needs understood. Establishing good communication from the get-go ensures a professional and friendly relationship that bodes well for your remodel. There are some clues you can look for before you even decide to work with a particular contractor as to whether communication will be a two-way street:
- When you call and leave voicemail, how quickly do you get a return call?
- At the initial consultation, did you feel your needs, concerns, and vision were being heard, or did you get the sense you were just another sale?
- Did your proposal arrive on time and did it accurately reflect your vision?
New tools and technology make it possible to communicate and oversee your project from wherever you are. But at Cottage Industries we think a personal touch matters far more than the latest software. In fact, we believe nothing replaces person to person communication. Emails and texts are efficient ways to keep in contact, but emotions, feelings, or thought processes are not always easy to decipher in the written word. Over the years, we’ve developed a communication process that we believe keeps everyone in the loop and avoids miscommunications that can delay or disrupt a project.
- It starts with teamwork. Including everyone in group emails and texts means all the parties pay more attention to the issue at hand. Project managers, the homeowners, and our own staff see every communication, so nothing gets missed and there’s never a need to repeat to someone what needs to be done.
- We personally visit the job site on a regular basis so that our clients feel comfortable and connected. We believe this hands-on approach allows us to best serve our client’s needs.
- Schedules, change orders, and other updates are scanned and included with emails.
We also think it’s important for our homeowners to receive frequent updates on where their remodel stands. For example, at the end of any day you project manager will do a group text like: “Today the plumber came and he has this question, or tomorrow the electrician’s coming, or everything went smoothly today,” and so on. This also gives the client a digital trail they can refer to as needed.
The Beauty of Mobile
The ability to regularly access emails and receive texts on mobile devices has made the remodeling process a bit quicker. By eliminating phone tag, questions are answered in a timelier manner, allowing work to move forward at a faster pace. Cell phone cameras let project managers take a quick shot of work in progress and ask for the homeowner’s feedback. Simple questions like “Do you like these two colors together?” or “Is this where you want the towel bar placed?” can all be made a little bit easier with photographs.
Quick Communication Tips
Here are four basic tips to keep in mind for communicating effectively with your Philadelphia remodeling contractor:
- If there is something that’s bothering you, bring it up right away. The sooner issues get resolved, the healthier it is for the project.
- Don’t be shy about asking for progress reports, schedule updates, or accounting balances.
- Be clear and honest about telling your contractor what you can afford and which items matter the most to you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions you think you should already know the answer to. Your contractor would much rather hear the question now than be told down the road “I was going to ask you about that.”
At Cottage Industries, we value and strive for open and effective communication with all our clients and truly believe it’s the only way to guarantee a successful remodel. We know that when our clients feel they are working with the right contractor, they have full access to all the information they need to make the right choices, and the reassurance that their best interests are always at the heart of every decision. Schedule a conversation with us today to learn more about all we offer.