Crosspost: Q&A: How to communicate with your contractor

This post was originally published on stuccoboy.com. Stucco Boy is a subsidiary of Builder Boy, Inc.

Remodeling your home can be stressful, but having a contractor who understands your ideas and shares your vision for the final outcome can make the process much easier. We sat down with one of our estimators, Kenny Cloutier, to talk about the home remodel process and find out how homeowners can clearly communicate their ideas and concerns to their contractor.

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1. What’s the biggest source of miscommunication you have with your clients?

There are a few areas of miscommunication… the biggest one is the work they think they need vs. the work that actually needs to be done. Sometimes they’ll think, “Oh, just stucco this or fix this patch,” but there’s a lot more work underneath that needs to be done.

Another source of miscommunication can be the order of the process. You as a homeowner have to trust your contractor that they’re steering you in the right direction during each phase of the project. If you don’t trust your contractor, you’re going to have a lot of tension when making decisions and following their advice. You want a contractor who will be available to you and can explain the process to you in terms you can understand.

2. What do you do as a contractor to resolve this miscommunication?

I just inform and educate them about the process. That’s the best course. I try to explain each step as we go, and that usually resolves the miscommunication.

3. What do you wish your clients knew before they started trying to talk to you about a project?

Pricing and budget. I wish they knew what it takes to get it done.

4. How do you clear up these misconceptions?

I can either show them samples of actual finishes or give them a photo and explain the whole process and how it’s different from what they see on TV. I try to explain everything in the first meeting.

5. Should homeowners educate themselves by watching HGTV or going on websites like Houzz?

It’s a good starting point, but it’s not definitive. HGTV will tell you they can fabricate and install cabinets in a week. It’s not true. They’ll tell you they can re-stucco a house in three days, and that’s not true either. They don’t always explain the entire process, so they might show something that appears to happen in a week, but would normally take three to four weeks. They also have installers and inspectors around the clock, which we can’t do. If you want to be informed about the home remodel process, read up on blogs and manufacturing sites. Read up on what the manufacturers have to say.

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At Builder Boy, we are committed to offering viable building and remodeling solutions to homeowners and business owners alike, bringing beauty, form, and function back into every home, office, and building we rebuild, retouch, and restore. Our team of experts are dedicated to their craft and will work relentlessly to turn your dream or vision into a reality. Diligent planning, expert opinions, clear-cut organization, honest communication, quality materials and quality craftsmanship are keys to our business success and assure the swift and solid construction of any project. With every improvement project we accept, we aim to work with our clients to build a better home or business that will not only add beauty to the community but will boost the value of the property and quality of life.

If you are a homeowner, business owner, architect, interior designer, or design firm, please feel free to contact the professionals at Builder Boy. We can be reached by phone at 562.218.3295 or by email at info@builderboy.com. We also invite you to visit our office and showroom in the beautiful city of Long Beach. We are conveniently located at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cherry Ave.

About Builder Boy - General Contractor
Builder Boy has been servicing home and business owners in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area for over 20 years. We are regarded as the leader in the remodeling business and are recognized as the best construction company and general contractor in Southern California. We offer interior/exterior painting services, stucco, kitchen and bath remodel, custom cabinets, cabinet refinishing, cabinet refacing, interlock paving systems, stone walkways, concrete driveways, custom barbecue islands, custom fire pits, room additions, and storage solutions.