How to make homeowners feel more comfortable during a remodel
For many builders, a remodel is just another day on the job. But for homeowners, it’s a big deal … a possible intrusion into their daily lives. From cost overruns to scheduling issues, a remodel is filled with potential land mines that could hurt your relationship with homeowners. Here are some proactive ways to make your homeowners feel more comfortable throughout their remodel.
Give a Realistic Estimate
Everyone wants to land the job, and it can be tempting to provide a “best case scenario” estimate. In reality, though, the best case scenario is not usually what actually happens. Use estimating software to create a realistic budget for the project, and then add 10-20% for overruns. If your “best case scenario” comes to pass, the homeowners will be thrilled that their final payment is lower than expected. If not, you won’t be dealing with angry homeowners who are sick of skyrocketing expenses.
Pad the Timeline
Like the budget, the timeline never follows the most hoped-for course. Materials are delayed, workers call in sick, or subcontractors prioritize a larger project. Use planning software to predict the timeline as closely as possible, and then pad a few days. It’s better to have excited homeowners whose project is completed early than upset homeowners whose house is torn up for longer than they expected.
Set and Follow Expectations
Every homeowner has their own individual quirks, personal schedule and preferences. Take some time to sit down and talk about the details! If the homeowner is a night owl, they won’t be happy about your crew showing up at 7:00 a.m. If the formal living room is not part of the remodel, subcontractors shouldn’t be tracking mud across that room’s carpet. Ask the homeowner what you can do to minimize inconvenience, and explain your processes as well as you can. Be sure to ask about such details as a bathroom your crew can use and whether you should lock up if the homeowners aren’t home when you leave for the day. Be sure to keep your subs and your employees on the same page about agreed upon expectations – this is easy to do when using a construction logging software.
Clean as You Go
On a new custom home build, you can get away with leaving tools, supplies and debris laying around. But, when you are doing work in a home that someone is living in, it’s important to leave the jobsite neat and clean each day. Take out your trash, stack supplies out of the way, and clean up after your breaks.
No matter how well you plan the remodel, life happens. If there is a delay, if you uncover hidden damage, or if anything happens to change the plan, tell the homeowners right away. Most people are reasonable, but a lack of communication can erode trust. If the remodel is extensive, update the homeowners at least weekly, even if you are still on track. This communication is easy to do with help of a construction customer portal, where your homeowner can get all project updates on their own time.
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