Important details to discuss with your contractor

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

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Working on a home remodeling project requires you to plan a lot of details. You’ll have to choose the design, paint color and type of flooring of your indoor or outdoor living spaces. Actual construction is a whole other ballgame. Hiring a contractor certainly makes the process run more smoothly, but you will want to have a talk with your team before they start building. Discuss these details to ensure your remodeling process is harmonious.


Whether or not you smoke, you should talk to the contractor and the team about whether smoking on your property is acceptable. Many homeowners would prefer that no one smokes in the house, but you can set whatever rules you feel comfortable with.


If you’re keeping your animals on site during construction, you should let the contractor know. Also discuss where in the house you will keep your animal so that workers know what to expect. For example, you might keep your dog in your bedroom from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The contractor will work on your kitchen (or whatever project) during that time. Make sure your pet doesn’t get in the way and that the workers respect your animal when it is around.


Some streets near your home may be better for parking than others, and your contractor should know about it. Try to scope out a spot that’s close to your house so the team doesn’t have to lug materials very far. Also inform them about times of day or week when they can’t park in a certain spot, if necessary. For example, garbage day could interfere with contractor parking. Make sure the contractor doesn’t block your neighbor’s driveway as well.

Protection measures

Contractors erect tarps and temporary walls to help contain their work to a specific site. Meet with your team before construction to do a walk-through of your home and yard. You can indicate spots the team should avoid (such as your flower garden) and find out how much space the team will occupy – this may prompt you to clear your belongings out of a certain area. If the contractor is working on your kitchen, you may pull your decorations to protect them from dust or damage.

Home security

If you have home security or limited access to your property, you need to develop a system of entry with your contractor. Perhaps you’ll disarm the security at a certain time or give the team a specific (limited-time) passcode. Don’t forget to cancel the contractor’s access code after the work has been completed.

Additional work

You may have ordered retractable screens or new appliances, in which case the contractor should know delivery schedules. Screen installation or refrigerator drop offs could interfere with the contractors’ work. Be sure the team knows any timelines that could affect them.

Contact information

Be sure to swap digits with your contractor so they can contact you (or vice versa) should the need arise. Get the name and number of the contractor and onsite managers. Give the contractor your work or cellphone number in return. You may even decide to post a list of important phone numbers in a place where the contractor and the team can see it.

Design preferences

Let the contractor know all your preferences right off the bat, including the paint color, materials, brands, etc., that you want to use. While things like paint color will come up, it’s best to tackle it sooner. Talking about brands is especially important. Most contractors will use a brand that’s cheaper for them unless you specify otherwise. Get these details ironed out and note that it may increase the price of your remodeling project if you choose to go with higher-priced brands.