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How To Help Your Contractor

By Jessica Greaves (Featuring Simon Copping-Patton of Odd Job Handyman Services) – August 24, 2023

We’ve all been in situations where someone who is trying to help is actually making things more difficult. You know they’re just trying to be nice, but it’s hard to tell them to stop. Have you ever stopped to think that this is exactly what your contractor is going through while you’re trying to “help” them drill holes or put up drywall? We hate to admit it, but sometimes you’re doing more harm to your home than you might think by trying to help your contractor.

You hired a professional for a reason, and while it may be difficult to give up control of your home, for the best results you need to take a step back and remove yourself. We spoke with Rodrigo from 3 Day Reno and Simon from Odd Job Handyman Services to find out how you can actually help during a project and when it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

The More Details The Better

Both Simon and Rodrigo agree that the best thing you can do to help your contractor is to provide details. Having all of the information upfront is the best way for the company to know exactly what they’re dealing with.

“As many measurements, as much history and as many photos from as many angles as you can,” Simon notes. “The larger the project, the more true this is. I can’t tell you the number of times a project would have been completed much faster had we known everything we would learn after entering the client’s home. In contracting, “too much information is rarely a thing.”

Rodrigo echos this and reminds clients that the more efficient you can be, the easier it will be for the crew to avoid delays or misunderstandings. Make sure your final selections, layouts, and drawings are all in order so the work can continue seamlessly.

Don’t Cut Costs On Important Steps

Renovations are always hard on your bank account, but when you’re paying to have something big done to your home, like an extension or new kitchen, don’t try to cut costs at important steps. Rodrigo notes that clients who try to save money by hiring a cost-effective engineer will end up costing them more in the long run. “I have had many situations when the drawings provided by the client’s engineer are not up to code. Or a kitchen designer that wants to change the layout of the space and is not possible because it wouldn’t pass the city inspections.”

Leave It To The Pros

You called in a professional for a reason. This means that you should not try and fix the problem before they get there. Leave that leaking dishwasher where it is and do not start taking parts out and duct-taping before the company arrives. Simon says that by trying to fix the problem yourself, it actually makes it more difficult to diagnose and properly repair the original problem.

Avoid trying to “make space” in your home before the crew arrives. Simon says that clients will often move things around in an effort to help and that sometimes this inadvertently create obstacles on site. If you’re concerned your furniture is in the way, wait until the crew has arrived as ask them if moving things around would be helpful.

Helping With Mixed Results

Like most home service professionals, Simon has had mixed experiences with clients helping out. “There was one time when we were mounting a large and unwieldy television set. The homeowner gave a hand and the project was completed much faster. Another time, however, the client tried to repair an issue under their kitchen sink before we arrived and they had actually caused more damage than we had expected based on the photos they sent us. This resulted in a longer and more expensive project.”

You Got This

We know it can be hard to give up control, especially when it comes to your home. This is why hiring a company you can trust is so important. Once you’ve done your research, read reviews, and hired a company, you need to trust them to do the job they’ve been hired for.

This doesn’t mean you need to remove yourself completely from the process. Rodrigo recommends inspecting the work when you can and documenting the stages of the project. A reputable company should have no issues giving you progress reports and letting you know what’s going on at any point in the project.

Simon encourages you to let the company do their job. “You don’t have to feel obligated to become a major part of the project’s execution and more often than not it complicates things. We’re there to make your lives easier so sit back and look forward to a job well done!”

While giving up control is never easy, we hope you can take a back seat on your next home renovation project. Be sure to write a review once the work is done, it helps the whole community!