Your relationship with your remodeling contractor is personal. He and his workmen are going to be in and out of home for days or even months depending on the size of your remodel. You want to start on the same side and stay on the same side. Realistic expectations and mutual respect will go a long way towards getting the best out of your contractor. In what ways can you help?


Breakdowns in communication between the client and the remodeling contractor are a major cause of conflict. Be clear. Be concise. And get it all in writing.


Your remodeling contractor has to buy materials, pay his subcontractors and suppliers and pay his office bills. Paying in a timely manner as agreed in the contract will definitely make things go smoother. It is recommended that you hold back a contingency amount from the final payment until you are happy that the work has been completed to your satisfaction. This is normal and your remodeling contractor should expect it.


Your contractor needs to be able to get hold of you as unexpected problems arise and decisions have to be made. Time is money and everyone on site will get frustrated if work has to stop because the contactor is not sure whether he should go ahead.


Remember that your remodeling contractor has a family too. Don’t contact him out of hours unless it is a dire emergency.


Larger contracting companies may have an in house designer, but generally a remodeling contractor is there to install and build, not to create your vision. You can ask your contractor his advice, but design and remodeling ideas are not necessarily his forte. Take the time to select all the materials yourself or employ the services of an interior designer.


Don’t just give broad remodeling ideas. You need detailed plans and specifications spelling out the full scope of work with an itemized list of materials will make sure you have the same vision.


Things may go wrong. Things may get broken. Things may be delayed. Screaming about it is not going to help. Regardless of how upset you are, take a deep breath and deal with the situation calmly. If you are still feeling agitated, wait until you feel more in control before discussing further.