Sunday, February 26, 2017


Monday morning and nobody's working.
The place was left open all night. Amazing their tools weren't stolen. 
Do I really have to tell a contractor to secure the site?

The ways contractors drive their clients bonkers... This isn't a roast, just a bit of a checklist to further communication between contractor and client before things get testy. These are my pet peeves. Feel free to add your own in the comments. Keep it civil and reasonably clean, please LOL!

What clients want to see... Bob Vila and his tool belt.
For his blog on dealing with contractors click HERE.
ONE: SHOW UP... OFTEN: Crickets are what the client doesn't want to hear. The client wants to hear hammers and saws and workers grunting and making guy-sounds (apologies girl-workers, I know you can grunt too.) In any case it's hard to be empathetic toward the guy who ripped out your kitchen so that you're washing dishes in the bathtub if days go by without progress. When you are "home invaders" time is of the essence.

TWO: COST-PLUS, NOT COST-PLUS WHATEVER: Cost-plus is usually used when a job can't be easily estimated. For example, renovations on an old house where it's dicey what will be found in the walls. In this arrangement the client pays for materials and bills from trades (that's the "cost") and an agreed-upon percentage is levied on top for the contractor (that's the "plus").  Cost-plus demands total transparency: original receipts (since copies can be doctored), a definite rate for the contractor and meticulous records. Both contractor and client should clarify beforehand what cost-plus means to all parties and put it in writing .To read more on this topic CLICK HERE to head over to the BUILDING ADVISOR website.

THREE: THE MUD -- AGAIN: I know I've blogged about this before, but come on! This is my home.
THE SOLUTION: Before the floor is laid head to Home Depot and pick up some BUILDER'S PAPER and once that gorgeous hardwood, tile, or whatever-flooring is in and dry, completely cover the floor. By the way, tape paper-to-paper not paper-to-floor! After any type of tape has been pounded onto a surface for weeks or months by hobnailed-booted big boys, it can fuse with the flooring.

This is after a contractor installed a
 timer-switch for a bathroom fan...
gaps, crooked switch, stripped screws and
 mucky patching. Fingerprints! 
Thanks dude.

Drywall dust everywhere, grout residue on tile and globs of it on the floor, wrappers from electrical switches dropped on the floor and left for the "maid" to pick up, food and other garbage strewn around. As seen in the photo to the left, go get some GOOP and wash your hands once in a while! One more gripe on making things better not worse, PLEASE don't kill the grass! Tarps and junk left for even a few days will murder my lawn. Click here to order GRASS PROTECTION MESH
Grass protection for your client's lawn.
Get some HERE.
The takeaway: Negotiate cleanup upfront. Cleanup is time and time is money. 

For the top 10 room planning sites visit
FRESHOME for their list.

FIVE: DRAWINGS, PLEASE: Architectural drawings are best, but LowesBetter Homes and Gardens, IKEA, and others, have software for planning on their website. However rudimentary, sketches, reference photos, printouts are worth a thousand times their weight in gold. Sorry to mix metaphors, but these days there are all sorts of ways to get your ideas on paper. Drawings save everyone a lot of headaches. If a contractor refers to themself as a Design-Build company, let them clarify what that means. In my opinion, they should have a talent for producing drawings, be proficient with CAD software, or have someone to do it for them.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope this helps your remodel go smooooothly!