How to Be a Great Client to Help Get Great Home Renovation Results

It’s more than design, materials, and construction. A big part of any successful home renovation is our relationship with the client we are working with – the people.

When we begin the project, as we begin talking about the changes and transformation we are going to bring to your home – a huge investment of your time and money – we need to be empathetic, honest, transparent; and we need to communicate clearly every step of the way. We are not simply your contractor, we are your advocate as the noise, dust, and relative chaos ensues as your home renovation gets underway.

EVERbuilt Developments Ltd. takes our responsibility very seriously and we invest a lot of time and energy working hard to not only stay current with our skills and expertise but striving to get better at what we do.

We truly aspire to be the best builder we can be as well as just about anywhere. But, no matter what we bring to the project, there’s a component to every successful project that doesn’t often get mentioned: great projects typically involve great clients.

We’re going to turn the tables! We understand what we have to bring to any build, but… what makes someone a great client? While we’re not trying to hand off responsibility for the project to the client, there are a few typical characteristics that make for a great client, which ultimately, makes for a more smooth, stress- and conflict-free building project overall.

  • Great clients have an opinion. This is YOUR project. We will guide the process and make suggestions, but ultimately you make the call. If you don’t like something, tell us. You won’t hurt our feelings- it’s not personal, it’s about the project, not personal. If you find it difficult to communicate exactly what you want or like, just tell us what it is you don’t like. It will help us create the project you love.
  • They’re not afraid to talk money. It’s not unusual for clients to be a little hesitant or vague when sharing their budget with us. And that’s fine with us. We’ll tell you what we think an appropriate budget should be for the project you are considering. But once the costs have been presented, it’s important that you share with us how you are feeling about the budget. Avoiding this conversation can cause problems down the road. If we know that you have set a firm maximum on the project, we’ll work very hard to keep the job within the target. This includes proposing materials that keep you on budget, controlling the scope of work and preventing scope creep, and resisting presenting other improvements or making suggestions that may benefit the home. That said, regret can be a real issue. It’s possible that we see additions that could cost a little extra and make the project better or potentially solve and issue that could end up driving you crazy. We are sensitive to doing what we said we would do – deliver a high-quality project within your budget. We take the money very seriously. If you want to know what possibilities exist beyond the budget, let us know.
  • They keep expectations in check. Any building or renovation project takes time to develop. HGTV, with its abbreviated building schedules and seemingly instant before and afters, has presented home renovations in a less than realistic light. We won’t be presenting photo-realistic renderings in real-time or sliding a life-sized before photo of your home for a dramatic reveal. There is sure to be inconveniences during construction. WE work hard to keep to as rapid a schedule as possible, but things will come up.
  • They don’t let too many cooks in the kitchen. Certainly, invite as many cooks as you like – after the project is complete! But while the project is underway, too many decision-makers can confuse and delay. Every person you involve is likely to have a different opinion and this can muddy the design and construction waters. If you need other opinions, look to your designer – they don’t want you to make a mistake! If you’re wanting more feedback, ask someone that understands you and what you value.
  • Great clients communicate. Let us know your schedule – are you busy or out of town for a period of time? Did you see an image on Houzz that you just love? Are you particularly sensitive about something? Let us know the best way to communicate with you. We know builders and designers to be very visual people – we often communicate project details via drawings. Not everyone understands drawings. Some people prefer a phone call to a long email. If you prefer to communicate in a certain way, make sure the person you are working with understands and is on the same page.
  • Great clients make decisions and stick with them. Everyone makes decisions in different ways. Some clients make decisions quickly; others want to ponder and assess. Both are perfectly reasonable approaches to the various decisions that need to be made on a home build or renovation. Take the time you need to decide but then stick with the decision. Your first inclination is usually the right one. Changes of mind can run up the budget and extend the timeline.
  • They are enthusiastic and fun. Customizing, personalizing, and upgrading your home or space is an exciting process. If it’s not, something is not right. Communicate what is dampening your enthusiasm for the project – that includes the budget!
  • Are open to suggestions. You have been contemplating and planning this project for years – you have it all figured out. Maybe, but perhaps there are other ways to accomplish your vision and goals. Be open to suggestions and ideas. Chances are you’ll see or hear something that you hadn’t thought of or that builds upon your original ideas.
  • Great clients appreciate great work.  The best clients understand that it takes a team of people to create a great project. They also understand that they are an integral piece of the puzzle.  They hold us to high standards and aren’t afraid to do their part. Collaboratively, and together, we create something that is really special.

You, the client, play a HUGE role in the success of your project. Understand, that if you do nothing else, be sure to communicate what your expectations are, be open to suggestions, have an opinion and have some fun on the ride!

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