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Construction operates in a foreign language called “Plans.” Most homeowners are not very fluent in this language, so there is likely the potential for communication problems. Even if you can read two dimensional plans, there is the additional problem that the plans will have to be translated into a three dimensional medium called “Construction.” It is easy for things to get lost in translation from English to Plans to Construction. Itâ€™s a good idea to confirm all verbal communication on a construction project by documenting every conversation that involves something being done to your house. If you don’t, you face a chance it will be done differently than you communicated simply due to misunderstandings.
I know that this sounds like a lot of work but communication with your designer, with your contractor, with the electrician, is part of an â€œinsurance policyâ€ that you will get what you want. You are communicating ideas or feelings which the other person is hearing though their own unique wiring. They may be nodding, but that doesn’t mean they fully understand you or will remember what you said. Because they may be working on other jobs the potential for miscommunication is high.
Documenting the conversations is not a guarantee, but it does improve the odds of success, as well as creating a trail if things go wrong. Having a formal meeting with the contractor (and architect) every week or every other week is very helpful. Even if you are doing a renovation and talk to the contractor every day, a formal meeting forces people to communicate about the current issues of money, time, quality, and problems. Meeting notes should be taken and distributed. The more discipline you impose on the project the better the communication will be and the few problems youâ€™ll see on your home construction project.