10 steps to help you help your builder...

Communicating your vision with a home owner is one thing but it is equally, if not more important, to effectively communicate your design intentions with the builder. I can’t even count the number of times I walk on to a project site one week after a design coordination meeting to find that 90% of the design suggestions were entirely forgotten or poorly executed. Having experienced this time and time again, I started to experiment with different approaches to my communication. The following steps have given me the best odds.

1) Arrive at the meeting with a prepared agenda (with pictures, sketches, samples-that you can leave)

2) Bring multiple copies of the agenda for the participants

3) Include (staple) your notes to the plan pages

4) Don’t be afraid to include the subcontractors in the discussion…after all, they are the ones executing the work

5) Follow up on items that will require authorized change order requests and make sure that the owner is on board with the proposed changes

6) Don’t let too much time go before your next site visit. More than likely, you will catch something in the “act” that was missed by the GC, the subcontractor or even you

7) Smile, everything can be fixed and your attitude on the job site will dictate how willing the contractors are to go out of their way for you

8) Emails and documentation do little good if nobody is looking at them. Staple your notes on the wall if necessary

9) Get the clients permission or you might be asked to foot the bill ;)

10) Spray paint and a sharpie can do wonders…sticky notes disappear

My husband (a skilled custom home builder) may unfortunately be right when he said “Every second of everyday there is someone on your project that is screwing something up”. Its up to the project team to identify those areas before little mistakes become big problems.

Bring a sharpie and some spray paint,