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Published on May 14, 2021

5 Things your Remodeling Contractor Wants You to Know

A homeowner-contractor partnership necessitates a high level of confidence. It's also rational! After all, we welcome contractors into our homes and pay them handsomely for their services. Contractors invest their blood, sweat, and tears into a project under the premise that we will be happy and able to pay for it until it is completed. However, many homeowners are unaware that their contractor is just as concerned with things running smoothly as they are. Here are ten things your contractor wishes you knew about your project before, during, and after it was completed.

1.  They'd instead not work with your team.

You've hired a contractor to complete a complete kitchen renovation. The contractor is wholly committed to the project. Then you tell your cousin, a plumber, that you want him to take care of the plumbing. You also have an uncle who can help you with the electrical job. A contractor's most important asset is his network of tradesmen, author Leah Cole says. The contractor serves as a liaison between a large number of subcontractors (subs). The contractor has a team of go-to people in mind, as well as backups. Just as significant, the remodeling contractor maintains a blacklist of problematic subcontractors, which has been forged over many years of hard work.

The contractor would be dealing with someone with whom he or she has no previous connection if you hired your uncle to install HVAC. Second, the contractor denies work to a group of subcontractors who may have come to rely on the contractor for consistent work. Third, you're doing yourself a disservice by not using a pool of staff who have been pre-screened to complete the task.

2.  They can assist with permits, but they cannot perform miracles.

Consider the following scenario: a homeowner demands special provisions: "My addition would be installed on a drainage easement, with no receptacles on the kitchen island and no windows in the basement. Is it necessary for you to get the permit office to approve this?" Possibly not. Contractors would not be able to persuade the permit office to bend the rules. Do not request that the contractor attempt this. This could jeopardize the contractor's relationship with the permit office and result in fines. Contractors may have long-standing relationships with the permit office. One of the positive partnerships is that the contractor does not require the office to perform tasks that it cannot.

We do, however, live in a social environment. The contractor's goodwill has accrued over years of dealing with permit officers and workers, and this is one of the reasons you employ a contractor: contacts.

3.  They want you to vacate the premises.

The builder is remodeling the entire first floor. You should be able to survive on the second floor. Isn't that why microwaves and hot plates were created? Isn't there enough space on the bathroom counter for a microwave?

True, it's your home, and the contractor isn't going to tell you to quit. However, everyone should stay out of the way while working on large projects. It's a matter of protection. It's a matter of space. The more you can get away, the better.

4.  They aren't attempting to add to their workload.

Suspicious homeowners are often led to believe that contractors underbid remodel projects to load them up with additional work after the contract is signed. Contractors would like to have all of the planned work itemized on the contract in an ideal world. Change orders exist because this is not a perfect world—walls are discovered to be crumbly when assumed to be sturdy, foundations are worse than expected. Change orders should not be feared; they are a natural part of the remodeling process.

5.  They Don't Like It When You Reuse Your Old Stuff

Those knotty pine kitchen cabinets from 1952 are stunning. Isn't it antique, romantic, and evocative of a mountain cabin? You request that your contractor removes, refurbishes, and reuses them as part of the remodel. One issue with old items, especially cabinets, is that they can hold up when used but fall apart when removed. That's how old things are. Wood flooring is challenging to remove and reuse. Old leaded glass windows are attractive, yet they are inefficient in the long run, both in terms of energy use and functionality. If you wish to reuse an object, consider the additional time and expense of outsourcing it to a skilled professional.

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