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Working with a Contractor: Trust is a Two-Way Street

When it comes to home renovations today, it’s easy to understand why you may feel insecure. So many tails of bad contractors doing bad work or adding on sneaky charges. It’s frustrating.

That’s why we encourage you to vet contractors and spend time getting to know them. Ask questions. We believe that people tell you who they are up front. So, take your time.

Wouldn’t you rather delay the project to find the right person than hire immediately and regret it?

By definition, the word Trust means
firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something

A long time ago, trust was built with a handshake.

Today, trust can be tricky. It’s something that we’re confronted with having or not having daily – in every relationship, in our work, colleagues, with our car mechanic, etc. It can be especially difficult to have trust if you’ve already been down a path that turned sour. It can make us hyper-vigilant, overly cautious and even nitpicky.

There is a certain amount of vulnerability that goes into allowing someone into your home and personal space to work and a trust that they will do great work. Anyone who works in a service industry career understands this. Did you hire the right person, and can we trust and belief in their capabilities?

If your inner gut says, “don’t trust this person” listen and move on to someone else who brings relief and builds your confidence. Someone you feel an authentic connection with, can fix your problem and sees your vision.

Once you’ve found someone that you feel very comfortable with, is knowledgeable and know has your best interest at hand, it’s time to trust them.

Trust is Not Hovering or Indecision

It’s tempting to be curious about what your contractor is doing. Seeing it firsthand and learning what makes what work can be fun, but there is a difference between watching over our shoulder all day and learning what the problem is, how we’re going to fix it and then stepping aside to allow us to work.

It is a totally different problem when you fail to trust your contractor completely and his team to the point where you feel you need to watch them all day or question every move.

As a contractor, I can tell you that the best projects are those where confidence and trust abound between me and my team and the customer. We get projects done on time and on budget. And we’re lucky because that is a majority of our projects.

Whereas a lack of confidence and trust leads to indecision, last minute changes in scope and materials, hovering, questioning everything and delays that can expand scope, budget and timeline.

The hardest part of this situation is learning where you are at in the process of the project. It can make all of the difference.

Before you go into a renovation or hire a contractor or handyman, ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of person do I want to come help solve my problems or renovate my bathroom?

  • What values do I want this person to have? (i.e., on time, clean, polite, ethical about their work)

  • Is this person someone I trust and have a good connection with?

  • Do I feel confident in the decisions I’ve made for my renovation (i.e., materials and design or layouts), or will I change my mind halfway through the project?

  • If I am uncertain about your choices, give yourself a deadline to make a decision and then stick with it.

  • How can I be of best use to help my contractor and his team complete the job well and on time?

A Two-way Street

Believe it or not, for a contractor trust is a two-way street. We ask ourselves questions before taking on a customer and job as well.

We need to trust and believe that we can work smoothly with the customer, meet their expectations and provide a beautifully finished project in a timely fashion, and that they will pay on time. We also have to trust that our customers are honest, as much as they expect it from us. We’re taking a risk as well.

One of the biggest challenges is to trust that the customer has picked out all of the correct materials they want, that they will be delivered on time and no revisions will be made. Remember, we have to make sure our team is there to do the work and if the materials don’t show, they’re out of a job for the day and then need to shift their schedules to get your job done. Our team trusts us, and they need to trust the customer too.

One of the reasons our clients trust us is our honesty. We’re upfront and transparent. We don’t give you a quote for one coat of paint and then upcharge you for the second. You get everything upfront. When something isn’t going as planned, we actively communicate it and come to you with a backup plan.

Our honesty and integrity creates more trust with our customers. If the customers aren’t honest with themselves or us, trust can break down quickly and the project is delayed in completion.

Trust is a complicated emotion and feeling that is best summed up by this quote: “Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.”

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