My husband normally has a rule about building for relatives and friends. He’d rather keep you as a friend or family, versus making money, and will most likely turn the job down. Okay, sometimes he bends the rules. Why, would we do something like that? Building a house or major remodel can be very stressful. Lots of money is involved and you need to make sure everything is in writing. He always says, I’d rather keep you as a friend or family. But, on the other hand, he does insist on doing a good job so when he meets you on the street, you can look each other in the eye and continue to be friends.
You always think building for your family or friends would be the easiest. But, it’s actually the hardest. You just want to make sure everything in both the construction and family/friend world goes smooth. What if there is some miscommunication (which can happen no matter how hard you try to keep things in writing and more)? Here comes the finger pointing. Let’s say the family member said they wanted the utility room two feet larger. Was this written, verbal or what? This could mean changing the framing, and maybe some plumbing. So who will pay for the miscommunication? Now you have to defuse the situation.
How about the family member or friend who is home-watching the new construction or the remodel going on. Kind of out there helping you supervise or think they are helping you. Picture them standing in the kitchen while you have the first coat of paint going on. And they kindly point out all the places the painter missed that evening. Then you have to calmly tell them, they are coming back tomorrow to put the second coat on. And this continues throughout the whole project.
Yes, you can be picky because it is your home or remodel, but only to a certain degree. You can be picky by requesting the job site be kept clean or the workers not start until 8am. But to come through and start pointing out the missed paint spots or that the dishwasher is not latched because you are waiting for the right anchor tomorrow is what causes problems. Pointing out things is usually done at the end of the job, during the walk through phase, when a punch list is created.
You hired this family member or friend to do a job for you because you knew them and their work. So trust their judgment and work. All of this can also pertain to a non-family or friend who hires a contractor to do his job. Just remember, you both have the same goal and results in mind.
Friends and family are way too important to mix business with relationships. So, if you hire a family member or friend, make sure you can work together and communicate. Just think about how you use it.
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