Are you worried about being kept in the dark during your home renovation? Are you concerned that once you sign the contract, your builder won’t communicate with you enough or provide you with regular updates about what’s going on? Communication throughout your project is one of the most important aspects of ensuring a successful outcome. Without communication, quality control can’t be managed properly and you probably won’t feel confident to speak up about anything you’re concerned with. This can leave you feeling stressed and anxious about what the final product will look like. Your building experience could potentially be ruined and you could even be hit with variations as a communication breakdown could lead to incorrect selections or colours being used.
So how are you supposed to make sure this doesn’t happen? You need to feel confident that your builder is a great communicator before and after you sign the contract, especially if you want to avoid unanswered phone calls, texts, emails or being brushed off by the office team. Because when you do find a builder who has the right processes in place for superior communication, your project will run more smoothly and you’ll be kept informed every step of the way as your project progresses.
A professional builder will not only provide direct communication links to your project manager but will have an online project management system complete with a client portal which allows you 24/7 access to the progress of your project. Ensuring that every photo, payment, comment or request is recorded and stored safely in the one place able to be accessed with your finger tips, anytime, anywhere. This way, you will be kept out of the dark and fully informed without having to waste time with unanswered calls or emails.
Is your builder up to date with the latest technology in construction?
According to Back to Basics, one of the major challenges the construction industry faces is that it is a slow-to-innovate industry. It’s “one of the three industries (together with agriculture and transport) that are slow to embrace digital technologies and innovations.” Not necessarily a bad thing for consumers, with a lot of paperwork and data processing still being done manually, it’s relatively easy to see which builders are embracing new methods to ensure their client’s experiences are second to none.
What most people tend to do is rely on the builder themselves to send through updates on their project via text messages, emails or phone calls, but this never happens. In reality, they’re project managing multiple jobs so they really don’t have the time to be sending out individual updates to each client. Or on the other hand, you might find a builder who has a small team but no modern systems in place so you end up receiving the number to the office where you can’t get past the admin team, leaving you waiting for days for some form of communication from the builder.
A professional builder will embrace new technologies to ensure their client’s are kept up to date, which in turn, improves their building experience and builds trust. They will ensure you have access to an online cient portal where you can view daily progress photos, leave comments, request and approve any changes you want to be made and much more. Having this online system at your fingertips, along with a direct number to your project manager, means that you can contact the right person, every single time.
How many times have you written a note down on a piece of paper, only to either lose the piece of paper or forget to check what notes you’ve written throughout the day? This is the type of system that a builder without modern systems in place will follow, leaving you left unresponded to with your request not being actioned and eventually, being too late to implement. No wonder many people feel the need to take on a ‘project management’ type role on their project, only to be faced with stress, overwhelm and an unhappy building experience. A professional builder will have everything covered including project management which will give you the confidence that quality control will be overseen, communication will be optimal and you can trust that the workmanship will be completed to the highest standard.
Here’s our tips on how to choose a builder with the right systems in place to ensure great communication.
Check for an online management system
Make sure your builder has some sort of online system where you are able to access all of your project information in the one place. If they utilise a project management system, then it should come with an online client portal. This portal is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about your project. You should be able to login from anywhere in the world using your phone, laptop or computer.
Your online client portal will be updated each day your project has progressed with photos and daily logs from your project manager. You will be able to see photos of workmanship, make comments, request changes and approve their corresponding change orders, see budget updates, check the live schedule for upcoming stages of the project, have access to the contract and any other warranty/insurance documents relating to your project and so much more.
When you choose a professional builder with these modern systems in place, it will give you confidence that your builder is managing your project efficiently and effectively. It will improve your overall building experience because you will always feel reassured that your builder is on top of things and in complete control.
Do they schedule fortnightly/monthly site visits?
Ensure your builder has set times and days to walk through your project as it progresses. Ideally, it should be either a fortnightly or monthly ‘walk-through’. This gives you a chance to ask any questions you have about your project. Essentially, this meeting should be there to provide you with a proper update about what’s happening during your project and to keep you verbally informed (because it’s always nice to have a conversation rather than see the updates solely on your screens).
It’s also an opportunity to go through any small details you’re particular about, it gives you a chance to take any photos or videos of the progress, you can bring up any issues you may be having, discuss selections with any subcontractors or discuss any changes you wish to be made.
Regular meetings like this will help ensure that you’re kept up to date and reassured that quality control is being managed and both you and your builder keep the same vision of the final product throughout the entire process.
Have the conversation
Before you sign the contract, it’s important to have a conversation about your own expectations in regards to how the builder will communicate with you throughout the project. This way you can be sure you know exactly what is and isn’t going to happen. If you are expecting a phone call every day of your project, then you need to tell your potential builder this so they can make you aware as to whether or not that’s possible.
Ask all the questions you need in regards to communication. Will you be given the builder and/or project managers direct phone? What if you want to make a selection change, what’s the process for doing this? How do they record any conversations you have with them? Where is the contract and any warranties/documentation stored? Having this conversation prior to signing the contract will give you a great idea of the communication levels you’ll receive throughout your project and can help you make an informed decision on whether your potential builder is right for you.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of a renovation project, before and after you sign the contract. But there’s other things you need to also consider when in the planning stages of your renovation, to help you avoid any unnecessary surprises, download our guide. It’s completely free and will help you avoid the #1 that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. Click here to download your free guide.