A kitchen remodeling project can take up to 6 weeks or more from start to finish. The relationship between you and your kitchen contractor is a marriage of sorts. They are scheduling your work, implementing your ideas, and charging you for all of this. A good working relationship is imperative to a smooth kitchen remodel and your peace of mind. To ensure your relationship with your kitchen contractor is an enjoyable one for both parties, there are a few things to consider.
A key component of any good relationship is communication. The relationship you have with your kitchen contractor is no exception. Good communication should be established up front, when you are in the interview process of selecting your contractor. Every step thereafter should involve questions and answers between both parties. No subject is off limits to broach.
- You may have a small baby, school age children, or an older parent who has a specific schedule that cannot be altered. Or, you may simply have a preference of when you get up and when you want people out of your house. You should establish work hours with your contractor before any work begins on the home. Keep in mind that time constraints may delay the work, but if everyone is aware of this going in, everyone will have the proper expectations.
- If you have a special function planned at your home, or a vacation scheduled where you will be out of town be sure to let your contractor know up front. Special scheduling can be accommodated. For an event at your home, you and your contractor should both understand what level of cleanliness and clean up is expected by that date.
- If you have any other special concerns, bring these up as early as possible with your contractor. You may not want workers to swear, or to smoke cigarettes on your property. Whatever the request is, notification and agreement up front is the best way to ensure there are no misunderstandings.
Your kitchen contractor will have some needs of their own that you can help them meet. You will want to have a designated parking area for your contractor and any workers. Show your contractor where this is up front. It is also a good idea to discuss what door workers will be coming in and going out of. If you have concerns about your flooring, you and your contractor need to reach an agreement about any protective coverings and who is supplying them.
Your kitchen contractor may not be familiar with your area of town. It will be helpful to them if you inform them of restaurants, fast food establishments, gas stations and mini marts in the area. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you will probably save them time on their lunch break.
Other common courtesies to consider include letting your contractor and workers have access to a specific bathroom, water for breaks, and the like. Having all of these items addressed before work begins will make for a smoother remodeling job.
Prepare Your Home
As noted, one issue of concern is protecting your flooring. Establish a path for workers to enter your home. They may even need a small work area outside of the kitchen. You will want to protect the flooring with plastic sheeting, carpet scraps, or even paper.
Ideally you should remove any furniture that is in the kitchen. If your kitchen is open to other rooms of the home additional protection may be needed. While the contractor may install big plastic sheets to help cordon off the kitchen, it may behoove you to go ahead and cover nearby furniture to protect it from dust and construction debris.
Any breakable items in the kitchen or in the pathway where workers will be coming and going should be removed. Workers often carry large materials and tools that knock a breakable over. You will ease both your mind and theirs by placing these items far away from the work zone.
Be a Better Customer
Besides setting proper expectations with your kitchen contractor, there are a few things that you as a customer can do for your contractor. By being a better customer, your contractor will have less problems, happier workers, and can possibly bring the remodeling job to completion quicker than expected. You never know when your kitchen contractor may come across a great discount and pass it on to you for being an ideal customer.
- When designating the parking area for your contractor and workers, keep their comfort in mind. They will be carrying heavy tools and large materials. A shorter distance will be easier and take less time.
- The idea of strangers, particularly workers, using your bathroom probably does not appeal to you. However, would you rather them have to take a break and travel to a nearby restaurant? This will slow progress down. Simply designate one bathroom for them.
- A simple touch such as having hot coffee in the morning and cool water or lemonade in the afternoon will go a long ways towards fostering a good relationship.
- A thoughtful gesture from time to time is to offer donuts or cookies in the morning, or perhaps a pizza for lunch. This could be done on a Friday as a way of thanking them for the week’s work, or perhaps when a milestone is reached. Your contractor will certainly appreciate your gracious treatment.
As the days and weeks go on, other items may come up that have to be addressed by both you and your kitchen contractor. Maintain a professional courtesy and willingness to compromise and your contractor will do the same. Having a good relationship with your kitchen contractor will make every step of your remodel more enjoyable and easier for all involved.