Wouldn’t You Like to BUILD Your Construction Company into Your Dream Business?

This Requires an UNDERSTANDING of your Problems and Having Solutions to Fix Them

Last week we talked about the high number of construction companies that fail and some of the reasons this happens. None of these companies were started hoping that they would go broke and go out of business.

So why is it that construction companies fail so often?

We discussed some of those reasons last week. They included things like – a lack of funding or poor cash flow, poor production performance on projects and not having a good business plan.

These problems are more on the business side of things than doing construction. Most people in construction just want to do “construction”, they don’t want to do “business” stuff.

If you want to BUILD your dream construction company, you need a plan…a Blueprint for BUILDing a Better Business.

This plan starts with Being aware that there is a problem. Most people who own or manage construction companies know that something’s not right, but don’t know what it is. They know how to build buildings but not businesses.

Being aware that there’s a problem is the first step. The second is, Understanding what those problems are. Understanding what their business needs help with. Understanding that just like building a quality building isn’t a simple task…neither is building a successful business.

To help us Understand what construction companies are struggling with, we have developed a short survey. In exchange for your time filling out this survey we will give you a free 30-minute construction company consultation to help you Understand the problems your company’s dealing with.

We’ve talked about the first two steps to BUILDing a better construction company, the B and the U.

  • BEING AWARE of the problems
  • UNDERSTANDING what those problems are

There are three more building blocks needed to finish building the foundation of your dream business.

They are –

  • INFORMATION on how to fix those problems and INTRUCTIONS for implementing those solutions into your business
  • LEARNING how you use these processes and systems in the daily operation of your business
  • DELIVERY of the DREAM – This is where your dream business becomes a reality. It is where all the hard work begins paying off.

In upcoming posts, we will dig deeper into the I, L and D of BUILDing a Better Business and how these building blocks are the foundation that successful construction companies are built on.

If you own or manage a company that is involved in construction, don’t forget to fill out the survey and get your free consultation! Also, if you know someone in the construction industry that you think would benefit from a construction company consultation, please send them a link to this post or the survey.

Link to the survey – Understand Your Problems Survey (surveymonkey.com)

What’s the Next Step in the Blog Posts to Podcasting Journey?

If You Really Want to Know…Read This Week’s Solution and Find Out

A few weeks ago, we talked about the reasons why I would want to turn my blog posts into podcasts. We also discussed some reasons why I hadn’t yet. They included a lack of expertise and plain old procrastination.

The main reason why we should…more people listen rather than read.

The next week we talked about how we would get these blog posts turned into podcasts. This post focused on how more can be accomplished if we share the load, especially in areas where I’m not an expert, i.e., recording, sound, etc.

I spoke about my friend Nic at AdWise Creative and how he’s going use his skills to help me get those blog posts into podcasts.

Here’s an update on where we are in the podcasting journey.

  • We have written intro and outro scripts for the construction company focused podcasts
  • I have recorded…and recorded, and recorded…the intro and outro getting them to a usable albeit less than perfect recording 😊
  • Nic has put together the intro and outro sound effects (one of my favorite parts)
  • Nic has combined the intro, outro, sound effects and the reading of a blog post into a preliminary episode

We’re making progress. More than I thought possible. So far, this has been less painful than I expected.

There’s still more to do before these podcasts will be available to listen to, but we’re another step closer thanks to Nic. Before they’ll be ready for public consumption, we have more work to do.

Here’s what will be included in the next step on the podcasting journey.

  • Design artwork for the podcast landing page
  • Research and decide where we will host the podcasts
  • Record more construction company focused episodes
  • Write the intro and outro for the construction customer focused podcasts
  • Record the intro and outro for the construction customer focused podcasts

Adding this to our already busy schedules, means it isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re on the journey. I’m looking forward to getting these podcasts to more people to help them build their dreams.

Finding solutions and building dreams is what we do.

I don’t know about you…but I’m excited about getting these podcasts out there.

It’s a little like the rush I get when seeing the progress being made on a construction project.

Check back to keep up to date on the progress of the podcasting journey as it happens.

If you know someone you think would benefit from these blog posts/podcasts, share this blog post or send them to the Solution Building web site. Because people signed up to receive the blog posts will be the first to get access to the podcasts before anyone else.

What is “Business Clarity” and How Do You Find It?

A Lack of Knowledge and Inexperience Threatens Your Dreams

Once again, John was alone at the office late on a Saturday night working to get at least one more proposal done, before going home. He had promised four different customers their proposals this week. If all goes well, he’ll have this second one finished before midnight.

As John crunches numbers hoping he hasn’t forgotten anything, he asks himself, “Why am I doing this? I could go to work for somebody else and make more money and work less hours. This sure isn’t how I pictured it five years ago when I started the company.”

“I had no idea that running my own business would be this hard!”

John rubs his eyes and stretches his back and thinks, “I must be doing something wrong. When I was working for Gene at XYZ Construction he made things look easy. I wonder what he was doing different.”

John has been working like crazy all week long. Between production help not showing up, materials not being delivered on time, cost overruns and computer issues…projects are behind schedule, he’s losing money and even if he works tomorrow he’s going to have to disappoint at least one of the customers waiting on a proposal.

“How am I ever going to turn this around?”

When John finishes the proposal and looks at the clock, it says 12:40. It’s already Sunday he thinks and he still needs to proofread it, print it and sign it. Something has got to change! “I’ve been leaving home early and getting home late all week. I haven’t even spoken with my wife for days. I’m calling Gene Monday to see how he did things.”

First thing Monday morning John called Gene. After a few minutes of catching up, John asked Gene the question that he couldn’t quit thinking about. “Gene, I’ve been working day and night trying to keep up. When I worked for you it seemed like you had everything figured out. You weren’t stressed and when things didn’t work out as planned. Your customers understood what to expect with their projects and were happy when they were finished. What am I doing wrong?”

That’s the question that almost every business owner asks themselves.

“Know this,” Gene said, “When I started my business, I was just like you. I struggled to keep up, worked too many hours, neglected my family, was mad at myself for letting down my customers, my family and myself. I kept asking myself that same question. What am I doing wrong?”

“By the time you were working for me, I had figured some things out. It’s amazing what you can learn when going to the “school of hard knocks”. Keep in mind this is the most common process but isn’t the most effective.”

“What really turned my business around was when I found out about Solution Building’s, Blueprint for Building a Better Business.”

Think about how much easier and better a construction project goes when you have a plan. The same thing is true for a business. A plan gives you direction, keeps everyone involved working together and improves the odds for a successful outcome.

“John, if this is something you would be interested in, I would recommend starting with the, ‘Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal’. This is the most important and most neglected part of construction communication. If you’d like I would be happy to meet with you and go through the process and answer any questions.”

“If you know of any other construction companies that you think could use some help doing proposals share this information with them and they can meet with us too.”

“There’s a lot more to the ‘Blueprint for Building a Better Business’, but starting out, you should focus on the proposal system. After you get this part implemented, we can discuss which part of the business blueprint system would be best for you next.” After talking with Gene, John thought, “I’m sure glad I made this call. For the first time in a long time I feel like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel that wasn’t an oncoming train.”

Focus is Hard When There’s No Revenue

How to Determine When to Stop or Keep Going

What the heck am I supposed to be doing? Should I quit spending time trying to develop a coaching/consulting business? When there’s no revenue generated from it, the time spent working on it, takes time away from the current revenue generating construction.

I knew from researching, that it would take some time to develop this new business. I’ve been posting a weekly solution every week for almost four and a half years, that’s over 230 posts. During that time, I have attracted less than forty subscribers. Not to mention there is almost no interaction with the few subscribers that I have.

This raises questions. Is the content relative to our target audience? Maybe the low connection is a lack of writing ability? I started as a builder after all. Maybe it’s just a matter of how busy and overwhelmed everyone is? Maybe this isn’t the best format to reach them?

Uncertainty results in inaction.

I’ve always been a cautious person. I tend to overthink and analyze things to death. This process often leads to slow or no action. As I have considered whether to continue with the coaching/consulting, I’ve come to some conclusion. This was reached in part thanks to my wonderful Kingdom Builders Mastermind group and Andy Andrews book, The Travelers Gift, The Seven Decisions for Personal Success.

I include these seven decisions as part of my daily routine. After reviewing the input from the mastermind group, I realized these Seven Decisions paralleled the groups input and what I already knew.

Here are those Seven Decisions and how they pertain to this decision:

The Responsible Decision

My success or failure is up to me. Where I am is no one’s fault but mine. Where I end up is no one’s fault but mine. I have control over what I will do and how I will move forward. My past cannot be changed. My future is my responsibility. The buck stops here.

The Certain Decision

This is a tough one for me. I have spent too much time second guessing myself. My lack of certainty makes moving forward hard. How do I know if this is the right thing to do? I know this, because God has given me the knowledge of the need, the skills and experience to help others find solutions and a passionate heart for this task. I have a decided heart.

The Compassionate Decision

Forgiveness has never been much of a problem for me, as it relates to others. I forgive easily which often results in people taking advantage of me. Where forgiveness is an issue…is forgiving myself. I get stuck in the rut of replaying all my mistakes, failures or lack of achievements. I can’t let my past dictate my future. I will greet each day with a forgiving spirt. I will forgive myself.

The Guided Decision

When wondering what to do I seek direction from God and His Word, my friends and family, books, podcasts, blogs, etc. I’m constantly searching for wisdom. Too much of the time I’m seeking wisdom and not putting it into action. I’m looking forward to honest feedback from the mastermind group. I will seek wisdom.

The Joyful Decision

My attitude is a choice. How I respond or react to a situation is a choice. These choices affect my outlook. I can approach things with a discouraged, depressed, ungrateful heart. Or I can remind myself how fortunate and blessed I am to have been given the insight and skills needed to lead others in way to build better businesses, construction projects and lives. I will choose to be happy.

The Active Decision

Action is out of character for me. Concern that something done wrong will cause problems, leads to inaction. This inaction leads to nothing being done. Nothing being done helps no one. God is waiting for me to do something. Slow decisions lead to failure. Fear of failure keeps me from action. Just because a decision is made doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I will not quit. I am a person of action.

The Persistent Decision

Not quitting or giving up is the cornerstone to these decisions. It is the one decision, if removed, causes the whole thing to crumble. Many times, I’m tempted to quit. By persisting, my outcome, my success, is assured. In Jeremiah, God says, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Failure only happens if I quit…I will not quit. I will persist without exception.

After running my coaching/consulting question through the filter of these Seven Decisions, I’ve determined that I will keep going.

What exactly this will turn out to be, remains to be seen. I want to know now, exactly what it’s is going to be, down to the smallest detail. I need to shift my focus from so far out, to the first next step. Writing this week’s solution is that first next step. We’ll give some thought to how to reach out to those who would benefit from our help in finding their solutions and take the first next step.

Lack of Quality, Honesty and Integrity






The Remainder of the Construction Complaint List



This is the fourth and final post in this series of building solutions on how to avoid construction project nightmares. Previously I wrote about the most common reasons construction projects fall apart. The next two posts dealt with the high cost of poor communication and what contractor communication should include. This week we’ll focus on the character portion of the list.

We’ve all have had experiences where things didn’t turn out like we had envisioned. This is true in everything, especially construction. Lower standards have become accepted and normal.

The low bar of expectation has become the construction industry standard.

I believe this to be attributed mainly to the focus on price. We should be conscious of what things cost, but when it is the determining factor above everything else, something will give. Most likely that will be quality and service.


The second factor is that we’ve become a fast-paced drive-through people. We expect everything to be instantaneous. The cost for this lightning fast speed is the same as price…quality and service.

Raising the bar is simple really.

It starts with an awareness of how low the bar is. It has been moving down in small increments for years. It’s happened so slowly that most don’t even realize how low it is. Raising it up will be a slow process as well.

The remainder of the list of reasons construction projects fall apart is as follows:


  • Poor quality
  • Cluttered and unorganized job site
  • Left hanging part way through an unfinished project
  • Lack of scheduling or poor time management


Quality, honesty and integrity cover this part of the list. These are character issues. They are about choosing to give as much importance to someone else’s needs as I do my own.


Quality – is the degree to which something is produced correctly. It can be somewhat subjective, but the higher the bar is raised, the higher the quality standard becomes.

Honesty – is moral character that is trustworthy, loyal, fair and sincere. It is absent of lying, cheating and stealing. Thomas Jefferson is attributed with having said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

Integrity – is adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. One has integrity to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.

Poor quality and a disorganized job site are part of the physical construction skill set. These things are skills that should be taught through apprenticeship and mentoring.

The same is true for lack of scheduling and poor time management. These things can be taught. Learning and applying these skills is more difficult, in that they are more directly connected to specific personality traits.

Leaving a job hanging partially finished, however is strictly a moral issue and unacceptable, short of some life altering emergency.

The entire issue of construction projects falling apart is unnecessary and unacceptable.


It doesn’t have to be this way!


You can choose what you want, it’s up to you. Learn more, expect more. Raise the bar as high as you can reach.

Being Careful to Not Get Stuck in a Rut

The Importance of Changing and Growing

There’s a saying, “A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.”. Too often we get in a rut and don’t even realize where we are. We are plodding back and forth doing whatever it is, never looking up to see where we are or where we’re going. If we’re not careful the rut will get so deep that we’ll never get out.

On the other hand, changing things just for the sake of change, isn’t a good strategy either. Growing and changing is good if there is a plan. Starting out on a trip without a destination and a map usually doesn’t end well.  

Change can be scary; it might not work. We know our rut well and we like it. Doing it because “We’ve always done it this way.” Isn’t a very good plan for improvement. This kind of rut thinking doesn’t allow for growth and change.

Change costs time, effort and money…the question is, is the change worth it?

Things that need changed and are ignored have consequences, i.e. diapers, your car’s engine oil, furnace filters, tooth brushes and bad habits.

Change is a natural extension of growth. As our services have grown from construction at Timber Creek Construction to coaching and consulting at Solution Building there have been a lot of changes. Changing allows us to do what we do better. Early in the growth process things naturally do more changing.

An example of this kind of change is the recent changing of our Solution Building tag line and logo. We originally started out with “A Foundation for Business & Life”. This was beneath the logo which included an image of a block foundation holding up the words Solution Building. This isn’t something that was thrown together quickly. I had given it a lot of thought and was sure it was the right choice.

After being confronted three different times by people thinking we laid block foundations I decided we needed to make some changes.

After going back to the proverbial drawing board, we changed the tag line to “Helping you find solutions for building your dreams”. The logo changed from the block foundation to a detective’s magnifying glass. This seems to better explain what we do…not to mention I’m NOT getting asked to lay concrete blocks.

It’s important that your message is clear.

Another change that we are going to be implementing next week is the changing of our weekly solution schedule. Since we added the mid-week Sunday School (email) post we’ve noticed that it consistently gets more opens. This caused me to ask the why question. We have concluded that people would rather not spend their weekends reading posts (no matter how good they are 😉).

So, rather than staying stuck in the rut of Saturday and Wednesday posts, we’re going to make some schedule changes. We are going to move the Saturday post to Monday and the Wednesday post to Thursday. I’m anxious to see if this change will help the open rate grow. If not, we can always change again.

One thing that helps us serve better is feedback. Please give us any thoughts you have about day of the week preferences, construction topics or business questions in the comment section below.

How to Solve A Difficult Building Problem?

With Out of The Box Solutions, That’s How

I have been presented with another building project puzzle. What do you know, it’s from another family member and reminiscent of last week’s post. Do you think they have it in for me…or maybe they just know that I’m good at finding solutions? In reality every construction project deals with these or similar questions.

My sister Ann owns and operates Prairie Paws Lodging, a pet retreat. Her service is in such demand that she has been considering expanding. Timber Creek Construction built her existing building three years ago and we’ve been discussing options for expansion over the last year. After some consideration we’ve decided to build separate private pet cottages rather than adding on to the existing building.

Prairie Paws Lodging

A few days ago, she called and asked if I could have one of these cottages built and ready in three weeks. After a gasp, I said, let me give it some thought. At this point we haven’t determined a floor plan, dimensions, materials, construction method, etc. (Why would I agree to even consider this when I’m already so busy? Because I love finding solutions and helping people with their dreams, that’s why.) It’s not like we weren’t already working on plans to enlarge the outdoor run and converting it to a dog playground. (More on this in a future post.)

Since we talked, this project and its questions have been bouncing around in my head.

The main questions that need answered?

  • What is the floor plan/design going to be?
  • What is the size/dimensions?
  • What building materials? (it needs to be water & dog urine resistant)
  • Price, what’s it going to cost?
  • How is it going to be heated and cooled (a requirement by the state)
  • Where will it be located, in relation to the rest of the facility? Will this have any bearing on the construction, size, etc.?

I called Ann and asked her to send me pictures, links to websites or any other ideas that she had. I got on line and began researching different building materials that would serve our needs. And the solution building process began.

What is the floor plan/design going to be?

  • We started with a couple of design ideas that she found on web sites. This gave me a good visual idea of what she wants. The first was Dog Kennels built by Lone Star Structures. The second was EZ-Fit Dog Kennel from Pinecraft. Both of these structures are nice looking and would work great in someone’s back yard for their own pet. Not so much in an application where different dogs will be using them, and a clean environment is important. Both have exposed wood framing and would not work well for regular cleaning. Beyond that the basic design is what we’re after.

What is the size/dimensions?

  • These two buildings varied in their dimensions. Ann and I discussed what she needed and what size would fill those needs best. She wants these cottages to be larger than the size of her existing pens. After some discussion we decided on an 8’ x 6’ enclosed portion and an 8’ x 8’ open covered area. This was determined by a combination of things; sized to meet minimum needs and be most functional, material dimensions (least amount of waste), price (bigger costs more), appearance (needs to be well constructed and look nice).

What building materials?

  • This is where things begin to get more difficult, because there are a lot of options. We know wood isn’t the best choice for wet conditions. What are the options other than wood? What can we do to protect wood if it is used? One thing we are looking at is a polypropylene slat flooring made by Double L Group. We are settling on a combination of products to keep construction from becoming complicated, meet the budget and provide the look we’re after. We’ll go into more detail in a later post.

Price, what’s it going to cost?

  • This is always a question, as it should be. The real question that should be asked, what’s it worth? Is this expense going to generate enough revenue to be justified? If it’s more than my budget, where can we reduce the cost? We’re early enough in the process that we don’t have this question fully answered yet, but we will keep thinking outside the box to get to the budget number.

How is it going to be heated and cooled?

  • HVAC is typically an expensive part of construction projects. In this case though, we are dealing with a small space, less than 400 cubic feet. They make some inexpensive single room units that look like a window AC and can be mounted in a window or through the wall. In this project the through the wall application would probably be the best option. It would let us mount it higher which would get it further from the dogs.

Where will the building be located, in relation to the rest of the facility? Will this have any bearing on the construction, size, etc.?

  • At this point we have a pretty good idea of where it will be located. For this to be determined we will need to consider how the new building will connect with the existing pens as well as new ones? What will the daily routine be when it’s being used? If more cottages are built in the future where would they go?

This is a lot to be considered for such a small project, but for the most part the considerations are the same regardless of the size. The fact that it’s small and what it’s going to be used for, does create some special considerations.

The one thing that we haven’t discussed yet, and maybe the most important, is if I have the time needed to do this project. This question can’t be answered by anyone but me. This question is one of the hardest questions that people in the construction business ever answer. Most of the people in this business that I know want to help people build their dreams. (This is a topic for another post.)

I will finish compiling figures, working on design specifics, determining the best options for material and if I have time to get the project completed on schedule over the next few days. If we’re going to be able to do this the questions need to be answered by the first of next week.

Keep watching for project updates in future posts.

An Out of The Box Project Will Need Out of The Box Solutions

Windows Will Help You See Those Solutions

The view through a window is much better than through a solid wall. If you’re in a box without windows, it’s hard to see out. Most of the time people are looking for solutions from inside the box. Even the most basic construction project needs a clear view of where things are headed. When it’s something “Undefined” it becomes more difficult.

An update on Hannah’s out of the box, grain bin home project.

As I expected when Hannah went to the bank yesterday, they didn’t just hand her a blank check, imagine that. The meeting went well though and they didn’t tell her no. As always, they gave her some papers to fill out for getting her credit approved. Because the house is going to be built on property that currently belongs to her parents there needs to be a survey done for separating off a parcel. The tricky part will be the appraisal. When doing appraisals, they will compare this project to other similar ones in the area. This is often an issue even for conventional construction projects. Guess what…there aren’t very many ‘out of the box, grain bin houses’ around.

Every problem has a solution, you just have to be willing to look for it.

As Hannah was telling her mom about the meeting with the bank, she said the banker said, “You’ll need some prices from a contractor.” …she handed them the eight-page detailed proposal. Next, they said, “We’ll need drawings.” …she gave them those as well. Most building project customers never get the level of documentation that Hannah had, even after meeting with the bank, let alone before. Another out of the box solution.

Another way windows help, is when they’re delivered. We received the windows and door that were purchased at the Pella contractor garage sale. They were unloaded in her parents’ garage until we are ready for them. We had to do some out of the box thinking to figure out what changes needed to be made to find the out of the box solutions.

Met with the bank and received windows. Two things accomplished this week that move the project forward. We are approaching the top of the mountain and it won’t be long before the momentum picks up. When that happens, we’ll be in for a fast ride down the other side.

Every nail driven, puts another board in the wall.  

Don’t be afraid to look outside of the box for solutions. If you need help with this, let us know in the comments below.

Knowing Yourself Is One of The Most Difficult Things to Do

It’s A Critical Component in Being Productive

This past week I listened to Michael Hyatt’s, Lead to Win podcast, “3 Actions to Beat Your Biggest Distractions”. The actions were: 1st – build a wall against interruptions, 2nd -put a leash on distractions and 3rd – increase your frustration tolerance. They spoke about how easily we can be distracted, especially nowadays with the bombardment of information.

Most of the things they discussed were great solutions. Some of them, however, were not what I would have done.

Each of us has been designed differently by plan. To be the most productive version of ourselves we need to take time to intentionally figure out what that plan is.

Ultimately it comes down to knowing…

  • WHO we are
  • WHY we do the things we do
  • WHAT we need to be able to accomplish those things
  • WHEN do those things need to be done
  • WHERE do we need to go to achieve those things?
  • HOW do all the pieces fit together

Being our most productive selves is no one’s responsibility but our own.

They talked about interruptions and distractions as different things. For me they really are one in the same. (This reminds me of last week’s post.) If I’m distracted, I’m being interrupted and conversely if I’m interrupted, I’m being distracted. Believe me I know, because I’m interrupted and distracted a lot. Let’s just call it disruptions.

The point here is, regardless of what you call it, you need to know what things disrupt you and how to best deal with them. You can predetermine what those things are and implement systems to handle them ahead of time. It will take some trial and error to figure it out, but you are the one who can do this for yourself. I know that if I get on a social media site that I will spend more time than planned so I’m careful about when and how often I do it.

One of the things that is hard for me is the constant battle between my desire to serve people well and the need to stay focused on what I’m working on. If I’m in the middle of preparing a proposal and the phone rings or a text message comes in and I don’t respond I feel bad. On the other hand, if I stop what I’m doing to respond I’m losing my concentration and dragging out getting the proposal done.

Every situation is different, the key to unlocking productivity is to think about it and be prepared before it happens. In each instance which is more important? If it’s the proposal and I can’t control myself to not respond, then turn the phone off. If it’s a call that I’ve been waiting for all day then I should take it.

The important thing to remember is that it’s up to me. I can choose.

There’s no easy fix. No one size fits all. If you are still alive then you can do something to improve your productivity. The key is to know yourself. This requires asking questions, trying different things and never giving up.

What Does the Customer’s Piece of The Etiquette Puzzle Look Like?

You Have A Responsibility in This Process Too

The last two Weekly Solutions have been about the missing pieces of the etiquette puzzle, mostly from a business perspective. Today we are going to look at the customer’s responsibility in this.

The customer’s piece isn’t much different from that of the contractor’s.

Customer etiquette to the contractor:

  • Clear vision of the finished project –

Know what you want. This is less about the specifics and more about what you hope to accomplish with the project. A good contractor will guide you through the process of turning your dream into a reality, but you need to know what that dream is.

  • Clear communication –

All good relationships require input from everyone. This starts with clear communication. Be as clear as possible when you share your vision with your contractor. Find pictures of ideas, designs, finishes, color, etc. that you like and share them with your contractor.

  • Ask questions –

If you don’t understand something about the project, ask. This is part of the communication process. Contractors aren’t mind readers. Because they do this work daily, they forget that the customer doesn’t. This can lead to unspoken assumptions by both parties.

  • Share any specific requests –

If there are things that the contractor needs to be aware of while working on your project, i.e. parking, doors to use, thermostat settings, pet arrangements, etc. let your contractor know.

  • Have the job site ready for work to begin –

Unless the agreement with your contractor includes moving furniture, decorations, etc. you should have this done before the crews show up to start work.

  • Treat the contractor the way you want to be treated –

Just because you hired your contractor to do the work doesn’t mean they are machines or slaves. They are people just like you. Treat them with the respect that they deserve.

 Last week I shared Stefaney Rants’ blog post, Construction Etiquette. In it she points out customer’s etiquette to neighbors.

  • Inform your neighbors of what is being done and when.  Give them a week’s notice (which is realistic since construction schedules are often hard to nail down) in the form of a letter or informing them in person.
  • Let them know what portion of the property/house is having work done so the neighbors can prepare themselves.  They might need to move their outdoor furniture because of traveling sawdust or can’t leave their pets outside with the loud noise from the equipment.
  • Reassure them their parking spots won’t be blocked if possible and their landscaping won’t be trampled.  It’s also a good idea to suggest they park their cars in their garage in case debris flies around.
  • Offer to give them a tour when the construction is completed.  Everyone loves a good before/after reveal!

I’d never thought about this. It makes sense, this is the way that I would like to be treated if I were your neighbor.

As a contractor I hadn’t thought much about the customer’s responsibility in this. I have always approached etiquette as it being my duty. It makes sense that we each approach things from our own point of view. Problems arise when we forget to consider other’s ideas, wishes and dreams.