Congratulations! Now that you’ve selected Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to build the outdoor living project of your dreams, you and I both want everything about your construction project to go smoothly. Let’s talk about how to ensure that happens! Basically, things go better if you talk to the boss.
Maybe you are finally getting the outdoor living addition — the new porch, deck, patio or 3-season room —you’ve wanted for a very long time. Or maybe you’ve just purchased a home in the Dayton or Cincinnati area and knew before you even made an offer that you would be adding to, or changing, your new home’s outdoor living environment.
Regardless of why you’ve embarked on a construction project at this time, you’re probably excited about getting started and eager to be done. The fewer snags we hit, the sooner you’ll be enjoying your new outdoor living space. Or as we say in the trade, “the sooner we’ll be out of your hair.”
You may be surprised to hear that you and I, the client and the project manager, share responsibility for a great outcome. If you and I are not enrolled together in this project as a team, we are more likely to encounter delays or misunderstandings. That’s why it’s important to be very clear about this from the beginning.
Talk to the boss
Your first line of communication is always me, Tim Stephens. I own this business, and I am the project manager for the job of building your new deck, porch, screened porch, patio or some combination of outdoor living structures.
You’ll work with me a lot at the beginning of the process as we talk about what features you want and consider various design options. I’ll visit your home and make recommendations based on the topography of your property and how the new structure will tie into your home, if that’s applicable. I’ll show you all kinds of materials we can use for the project, and I’ll help you make decisions based on your stylistic preferences, lifestyle and budget.
Once we have a signed contract and talk about the construction schedule, you will not see me as often. Nevertheless, if you have any concerns or questions, please call me or send me an email, or both, as soon as you can articulate your concerns. The earlier in the process, the better.
Who will you see instead of me? Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio employs a first-rate construction crew, and we also use specialized subcontractors. Some of these people have worked with me for years, and all are proven professionals in their trade.
They’re a bunch of nice folks! Some are naturally more likely to chat than others, but they will all be polite if you speak to them.
The pitfall of politeness
Politeness is a double-edged sword. If you see something on the job site — after all, it’s your home! — that does not look right, you may be tempted to ask the crew about it. You see them daily; you say “Hello;” you start to feel comfortable with them; you want to ask a question.
Being polite individuals, crew members will reflexively want to help you out if they can. They may find it awkward to say, “You’ll need to call Tim about that.” But here is where we may start to go down the road of miscommunication.
• Crew members are not necessarily aware of every facet of your project. A crew member may inadvertently give you an incorrect answer or may promise something that is not realistic or within the scope of your contract.
• If a crew member says he will relay your question or concern to me, he may forget to do that. Each person on the job has specific responsibilities. Relaying messages is not the crew’s responsibility, as much as they would like to be polite and helpful.
Who you gonna call? Tim Stephens!
Call me. Email me. I’ll respond as soon as I can. If you call after business hours, you may reach my answering service. I will get your message. I’m the only representative of Archadeck authorized to make any changes or additions to your project.
In a prior article about contracts, we talked about the fact that changes or additions to your outdoor living project can create delays. Miscommunication can also create delays. So please keep in mind that the clearest and most effective avenue of communication is directly between you, the client, and me, the project manager. That’s the best way to make sure your concerns are taken care of in the proper manner.
If you are ready to get started on bringing your ideal outdoor living space to life, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at [email protected].
Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.