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contractor and client looking at a landscape plan
contractor and client looking at a landscape plan

It’s going to be a relationship you’re in for a while, so you might as well make it a good one. Open and clear communication is the foundation of a successful partnership with your contractor. Here are some valuable tips for keeping communication running smoothly.

As part of Yardzen’s Pro Promise, Yardzen’s Build Concierge team is here to help manage your installation project and assist with contractor communications.

Set expectations early:
Start by having a frank conversation about the project—discuss your expectations, hopes for a timeline, and any specific requirements you’ve got in mind. Remember to discuss scheduling, payments, and known problem areas before issues balloon or deadlines pass. Clear expectations make it easier for everyone to stay on the same page. 

Request regular updates:
Checking in regularly keeps you up to date on the project and allows you to address any concerns straight away. It’s customary to schedule once or twice weekly face-to-face meetings with your contractor to go over questions. We also suggest daily or weekly text recaps.

Ask questions:
Questions are your friend. You’ve got to ask them if something is unclear. Contractors appreciate your interest and willingness to understand the project better. 

Request changes as needed:
If you decide to make changes to the project scope or design, communicate these changes with your contractor. It’s essential to agree on how adjustments will impact the timeline and budget. And it is also essential that those changes are put in writing and mutually agreed upon. 

Provide feedback:
Constructive criticism helps improve the project. Exercise empathy and understanding, but don’t be afraid to hold the contractor accountable to their word. Again, keep written notes and start from a place of collaboration and positivity to promote continued progress.

Document everything:
We can’t stress this enough, keep records of all project-related communication, including emails, messages, and notes from meetings. This documentation can be valuable if any issues arise. Remember—you’re trying to be helpful in keeping track of when, what, and how much has previously been agreed to.

Respect timelines:
Being punctual with payments fosters trust. If work is complete and previously agreed upon milestones have been hit, prompt payment is customary. If work on a particular milestone is unsatisfactory, have an honest conversation with the contractor about the shortfalls. Keep in mind the long term health of the relationship and project before escalating, but you should also never pay for something if the value or product has not been delivered.

Celebrate milestones:
Acknowledging achievements along the way can boost morale and maintain a positive atmosphere. Show appreciation for your contractor’s expertise and hard work. A positive working relationship goes a long way in achieving a successful project.

Keep an open mind:
Remember, flexibility can lead to creative and efficient problem-solving.

 

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