Not all Seattle contractors are equal. Getting the most from your contractor isn’t as simple as calling the very best – that’s definitely a good start – but there are some things you can do to insure you benefit as much as you can from their presence. Even if the job seems trivial, a contractor is an excellent source of information that you should be taking advantage of. These five tips can help you do that.
Be Present While the Work is Done
This may be a no-brainer. One of the best ways to learn from a contractor is by observation. It’s impossible to do this if you’re not there while the contractor is working. There is a certain amount of tact required; like anyone, someone doing a home improvement project for you will likely get irritated if you’re hovering over them. Keep your distance, but pay attention as well as you can. Where possible, make it look like you have a reason other than direct oversight to be in the room.
Like watching them work, asking questions is something to be done in moderation. Seattle contractors are used to fielding basic questions about how they work – don’t be afraid to ask. Their insights might not prepare you to take on the same project without any other training, but knowing what they’re up to might give you a better idea what’s involved. For smaller projects, a helpful tip here and there can save you lots of time should you find yourself doing basic repairs down the line.
Pay Attention to Any Special Equipment
Seattle contractors bring all of the equipment they need to the job site. If you’re trying to learn about flooring or electrical work, take a moment to note any special polymers or glues used on the bare floor prior to the actual material. Pretreatment of the floor is also worth some attention – grooving in the floor help anchor it in place, and has to be done using custom tools. Many contracted jobs have similar requirements.
Be Involved in Planning
A contractor may need to make several visits to the job site to take measurements. These will likely lead to scaled diagrams and other tools that make planning and executing the job easier. You may want to take your own measurements and create your own scale diagram, at the very least so you can note where the project was started and how it progressed. Labeling such a diagram with numbers and keeping a key on a separate sheet of paper will allow you to keep a clean diagram without cramming explanations in.
Do Follow-up Research
If you already know a few of the steps, you have a great starting place for continued research. You likely looked into some of the specifics before calling an outsider, and having seen it hands on, you may have a better conception of the process. The final step is to check back on what you’ve learned – doing basic internet searches on some of the things you saw, and some of the questions you asked, can tell you if the methods you saw executed were industry standards or specific stylings of the individual contractor. There’s nothing wrong with either scenario – there’s often more than one solution to the same problem.
These five things can help you get the most from your Seattle contractors. Asking questions tests their knowledge and keeps them sharp, while simultaneously giving you a greater understanding of the work they do.