Communication is important in all relationships, and your relationship with your builder is no exception. Effective communication between client and builder will reduce concerns and stress before, during, and after the building process. Here are some tips for keeping the lines of communication open at key points.
When selecting a builder—The best time to explore your level of comfort with a builder’s communication style is while you are deciding on a builder. These early communications often reflect how your builder will communicate in the pre-construction planning, during construction and after the completion of your project. Builders who are effective communicators will encourage your questions and provide satisfactory and prompt answers.
As you reach your decision—Make sure you understand how you and your builder will discuss the project and its progress. We suggest scheduling regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings. We also use a web based construction management program that contains a message/email section, a production schedule, progress pictures, selections, building plans and specifications. It is accessible to anyone who is involved in the project. We do encourage guided walk-throughs of the house at critical stages of construction, such as during structural framing, after electrical and plumbing rough-in, or after drywall. In addition, you should find out how your builder handles informal meetings and phone calls, and ask how quickly you can expect a response when you have a concern.
On seeing the schedule and specifications—We will present a detailed scope of work and a production schedule. Use the scope of work as a guide to gain a better understanding of the building process and ask clarifying questions. The construction schedule will also show deadlines for key decisions you must make, such as paint colors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and flooring materials.
When working with change orders—An essential part of owner-builder communication is the change order, which is our procedure for accomodating changes after construction begins. Few projects are completed without some changes along the way. We will explain this process before construction begins.
Successful builders have systems in place for communicating effectively with their home-building clients before, during, and after construction. These systems have been developed over years with many clients, and deserve our respect. At the same time, your needs, preferences, and comfort level matter. Once you’ve settled on a communication plan with your builder, stick with it! Good communication is a key to a predictable and fun building process that provides you and your family the home you desire and deserve.
Make it a great day!
David Baud CGR, CGB, CGP
Baud Builders, Inc.
PO Box 5708
Wakefield, RI 02880
(401) 789-1176 – Phone
(401) 789-2258 – Fax
Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.