Ready, aim … FIRE! Oops, it’s not what you think! Although, sometimes we might think it would sure be nice!
We’ve seen the movies and TV shows. Those contractors that are useless, jerks, or take us for a ride and bleed us to death with their fees and cost overruns. And the worst part is that we can’t seem to get rid of them.
50 Ways to Leave Your …
There may be fifty ways to leave your lover but you only need a couple to chuck your contractor. No, a firing squad is not one of them. But, in a way, you are the firing squad. You’re a committee of one with full power to pull the plug on the jerk who’s yanking your chain.
The message is: Don’t hang in there forever when a builder just isn’t working out for you. Trust your instincts. What isn’t working, isn’t working! Don’t get yourself all stressed out.
There is no Perfect Builder for Everyone
One thing to realize is that you simply can’t find that “perfect builder” all the time. It’s rare. Not everyone relates to everyone the same. And, despite your best efforts to check a builder out before you hire him, it’s not always going to work.
That “firing squad” thing is going to come into play sooner or later.
Design a “Way Out” Right in the Contract
Establish your expectations clearly up front and get them into the contract. Yes, you absolutely need a contract. Verbal agreements, while a nice idea, don’t work in home building and remodeling. The process is too long and complicated to operate on a handshake alone.
You’ll want to include much of the following in the written contract:
The full scope of the project
The communication level expected and demanded
The costs of the project and process for making changes
The duties and time frames for all workers on your home
The standard of work quality you expect and how it’s measured
When payment is expected and how work is inspected
These are the minimums but they’ll give you clear guidelines for establishing standards to inspect for and reasons to let a builder go. This is a must. It’s your “way out” when things fall apart.
Owner Builders Need a Coach
If you are managing your own project … whether building or remodeling, I recommend that you get a little more help aside from crafting the best contract you can. A home building coach can be a great support. When you wear your own builder’s hat, a coach can provide the know-how to help craft a good contract and give you the strength and support you need to enforce it.
The Power to Fire
There’s nothing like taking charge and pulling that proverbial trigger. No one will die. But, your life will be so much better when you exercise your right to fire.
Home building is tough enough. Don’t slog along with the wrong contractor.