How to Improve Your Communication With Contractors
You’re about to hire a contractor to do some remodelling for you. You’ve heard about the nightmares people have with these people – maybe you’ve already experience it first-hand. You don’t want to go there. You just want a good job done at a fair price. Is that so much to ask for? Well, in this day and age, it might be. That’s why you need to do a stellar job on your communication with the next person you hire.
Making Demo or Instruction Videos
One of the easiest ways for miscommunication to occur is to not explain yourself thoroughly. Of course, we all think we do an excellent job of explaining, and maybe this isn’t where you’ll have trouble, but communication is a two-way street.
Suppose that you are very articulate in your explanation of what you want done. However, the contractor might misinterpret what you’ve said. Maybe he just doesn’t understand what you want but doesn’t want to look stupid. So, he proceeds with what he thinks you mean or what he thinks would look best – a disaster occurs.
Now what? He wants his money, but you don’t want to pay. Here’s how to solve problems like this using a demo video. Install a video downloader program from a site like youtubedownload.altervista.org so that you can show the person working on your house exactly what you want. There are so many videos out there on the web that it should be pretty easy to find someone who has done a project similar to what you want.
If one doesn’t exist, you can always make your own, detailing what work you want done, what work you don’t want done, and where the work is to be performed.
Why use a video downloader? Because giving the contractor a web address for an existing video on, say, YouTube, might not be good enough. What if the Internet connection goes down while he’s working? What if the video site’s server is acting up and the video won’t load while he’s there (but you’re at work, or away somewhere)? Now what?
No, having the video downloaded onto his device will guarantee that he has it and can watch it.
Giving Clear Guidelines
It’s always important to spell out exactly what you want done. Video is the first step. A contract is the next step. Written contracts spell out exactly what work is to be done, and how it is to be done. There should be no excuse for the contractor to goof up on the job.
Yes, you need to spell everything out, from a material’s list to an outline of the project. In essence, you become the “general contractor” for your project. Will it take a bit of research? Yes – especially if it’s a big project. But think of the alternative. Would you rather pay thousands of dollars for a project that needs to be redone?
Followup is essential. Never leave a contractor alone to finish up the job. There are a lot of good contractors out there, but you’re taking a risk even if you do hire the best of the best. Why? Because no one is going to care about your home as much as you do. Daily, and even weekly meetings (they don’t have to be more than a few minutes), will help move the project alone quickly, uncover problems before they become expensive “do-overs,” and ensure the job gets done the way you want.
Remember to respect IP: http://www.teachingcopyright.org/.
Paul Moss is an entrepreneur. He loves sharing his tips for working with small business owners by writing on startup blogs.