Building contract, don’t get too close to your contractor!

Many people building and renovating make mistake of getting too friendly with their contractor which can come back to bite them.

There is nothing wrong with natural tendency to be courteous and nice to tradies doing the job on your home. However this can creep into a situation where the parties get too close, the professional distance disappears, authority of the owner is compromised or the contractor may start taking liberties, attention to the work diluted.

Some time ago I had a VCAT case that my client has lost simply because he got too close to the contractors. Endless cuppas, bikkies (owner’s wife and the contractor’s wife became friends with endless chit chats) even helping out the contractor (when he was a man down) turned around to be my client’s fault. How could he complain about application of floor polish when he was a part of it on the day?

After all the friendliness and hospitality given he ended with sub standard workmanship, costs of the dispute and no recourse. He is still smarting from that.

If you become too friendly with your contractor you may be blinded to spot poor workmanship on time or be sweet talked out of your concerns (It’s so easy to trust someone you are friendly with). How can you then turn around and tell him you don’t like his work?

It is much better to be friendly and courteous but firm and keeping your professional distance and the eye on the works. If then the contractor finishes the job and your expectations are met or exceeded then it’s time to be generous if you are so inclined (but don’t forget he is already being paid his price for the job).

Forget about cuppas, bikkies and cash in hand , doesn’t work, most of the time you won’t get a better job.

Finally, this is how builders do it.┬áKeep it strictly business and you will get more respect and a better job. If you are doing building work on your home “you are the builder” get it?

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