Top 8 Questions to Ask for Great Communication with Your Builder

If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of being left out of the loop. It’s even worse when it comes to home-building or remodeling projects where good communication is the key to success.

There are so many things going on at once: the roofers are roofing, the plumbers are plumbing, the electricians are making electrical magic, and lots of other subs are working in other places of your house. The job site can seem like pure chaos.

And then there are always changes that need to be made. The fact is every builder has their own way of communicating and keeping track of things, and you need to know what these are.

I know it can be really confusing and stressful if you don’t know what’s going on—and it doesn’t help that you’re probably not privy to a lot of this information until it’s too late.

So how do you make sure that you’re part of the decision-making process? How do you keep your builder from taking advantage of you? And how can you avoid being blindsided by any surprises that come up along the way?

The truth is, your builder will be so relieved you understand the communication process that he prefers.

In fact, I’d argue that these are the most important 8 questions I ask a builder or project manager before the build even starts:

  1. Communication channels – What are the builder’s business hours? Do they communicate by phone, email, text message, or other? How long does it take for your builder to return a call or request for information?
  2. Progress updates – How does your builder keep you updated on the progress of the home build? What is the communication procedure in case of a problem or delay?
  3. Change requests – Most home builds will involve at least a few change requests. How and to whom does your builder want you to communicate your change request?
  4. Chain of command – Who oversees day-to-day work at the job site? Who is in charge of the overall project, and how can you escalate concerns?

Now it is time to do your best to follow the rules they put in place.

When you’re frustrated, it might be tempting to call your builder on his cell phone at 10 p.m. and resist the urge to micro-manage the subcontractors at the construction site.

Know the process and respect the process. The truth is, the construction process will go much smoother (with fewer surprises) when proper agreed-upon communication procedures are followed.

You’re more likely to get the dream results you desire, with less stress and less running around. (And your contractor will appreciate not being interrupted while binge-watching the Marvel movies on Saturday night!)

Don’t forget to check out the “Chain of Command Infographic.”

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