Joyce Wadler of the New York Times wrote a wonderful article about homeowner’s relationships with their building contractors. Here is an excerpt from her article with twelve excellent points worthy of consideration. Whether you are embarking on a remodeling project or in the middle of one, read these statements and act accordingly. You will be a wiser individual and your project will reap the benefits.
How To Drive A Contractor Crazy
1. Avoid making Decisions
2. Change orders frequently, then become outraged by the additional costs and delays.
3. Ask a contractor to provide a solution to a difficult design problem, then use a different contractor for the job.
4. Challenge a contractor’s expertise with sentences that include the words “my brotherin-law thinks,” “my neighbor thinks,” or “I took a shop course when I was in 10 and this is what I think.” If your brother-in-law was that good, why didn’t you hire him?
5. Withhold final payment for months because of minor problems like missing fixtures that are on order.
6. Withhold final payment because you know it will cost the contractor so much money and time to take you to court that it will not be worth it.
7. Cling to the belief that contractors have X-ray vision that enables them to see into walls, and thus are aware of faulty wiring and plumbing or rot before the start of a job.
8. Attempt to poach the contractor’s workers by taking them aside and asking them to come back when the job is finished to do another job.
9. Schedule construction during the third trimester of pregnancy.
10. Buy appliances or building materials online or from a discount house to save money, then expect the contractor to make everything work when the products are damaged or don’t arrive on time. (I must add “when products are of poor quality or defective.”)
11. Call the contractor in the middle of the night and on weekends about problems that can wait until Monday.
12. Hover about a job while murmuring tragically, “It doesn’t look finished.” It’s a job site. It doesn’t look finished because it’s not finished.
~ Joyce Wadler, New York Times