Friday, February 16, 2007

How to get the best performance from your contractor:

As a willing ear to my general contractor hubby's rants and raves, I hear quite a bit of what helps, hinders, and annoys the heck out of contractors. A happy contractor is an efficient contractor, so here's how to do your part:

  • Feed them! The old adage "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is very true here. Matt loves the homeowners who make him lunch, even if it's just a sandwich or leaving a frozen pizza and a note. Those clients typically get a lot more for their money, fyi. They'll go the extra mile for you if you're kind to them.
  • Supply a few gallons of bottled water for the crew. It's sweaty, thirsty work. Please don't provide beer. Most construction workers I know currently or used to have a drinking problem. You want them thinking clear and sharp anyway.
  • Keep your things clear of the work area so he can work easily without having to move a bunch of stuff out of the way.
  • Unless it is VERY important, stay the heck out of his way! Often Matt comes home saying, "I'd be done already if they'd stop interrupting me to talk!"
  • Be clear and honest.
  • Provide a bathroom, and if you'd rather they use one and not another, tell them. Matt got an earful once for using the master bathroom when no one was home - the other one was broken, what did they expect?
  • Don't flirt with him. Most contractors are married (strange phenomenom but true!), and you don't want to get on the wrong side of a woman who knows her way around the tool box! ;-)

This goes for all construction guys, from the plumber to the landscaper to your general contractor. It's rough work, and they deserve respect and kindness.

Click here for a good article on choosing a contractor.


Ann said...

Justin says all the same things all the time!! How funny!!

Carly Fay said...

Well, it must be universally true then. ;-)

They work so hard and some people don't appreciate it. We have to raise awareness for construction workers' rights!

Our guys deserve the best, right?