How to Maintain a Great Relationship With Your Construction Team

Businessman stacking wooden pegs to create a We are stronger together sign in a conceptual image.

Even though building or remodeling a property can be exciting, it can also be stressful if you don’t take the right approach. Especially if the structure you’re developing also needs to serve as your home, getting your build right is essential.

This is why maintaining a good relationship with your construction team is so important. Without support, guidance, and full transparency from your contractors, bringing your design vision to life can feel impossible.

To help, our New Jersey team is here with their tips on maintaining a great relationship with your construction team and ensuring your project delivers on the full scope of your brief.

Let’s get started.

Be clear in your brief

If you want to establish strong relationships with your contractors and construction team, it’s essential to be clear in your brief. While no general contractor or project lead will expect you to know everything about your design needs, they will require open and honest communication from the start to tease out the finer details of your project.

For example, some of the best contractor relationships in the construction industry start with effective communication during the discovery phase. If approached correctly, discovery meetings serve as mutually beneficial discussions in which your lead contractor will get to grips with your project plans and determine the scope of your project.

To get the most from these meetings and nail down your brief early:

  • Answer your contractor’s questions honestly — even if you don’t think something is viable, your contractor will still want to hear your ‘dream scenario’
  • Avoid trying to sound more knowledgeable about construction than you are — even if you feel like there’s a power imbalance, your construction team has worked with people of all knowledge levels and are experts for a reason (in short, the more questions the better!)
  • Mentioning future projects in the pipeline if there are any — if repeat business might be a possibility, your construction team can see your working relationship as a long-term one and may even be able to offer additional value early
  • Being upfront about your expectations as a client — before, during, and after work begins, it’s vital to inform project managers and general contractors of the timeline, budget, and overall boundaries of your project
  • Understanding that not all work relationships will fit the “strong relationship” criteria from day one — it takes time to build relationships with your team

Tip: Building relationships with contractors should also involve not being afraid to vent your frustrations at current design flaws or issues you’ve had with contractors in the past. For both the design phase and the construction phase, project delivery teams LOVE to hear complaints from new clients. The more frustrations we know about, the more solutions we can find!

Select a preferred method of communication

Following on from the previous point, a good relationship is usually built on close contact and mutually beneficial interactions. However, when it comes to good working relationships, not all communication is effective communication.

Because we work on a lot of projects in New York and New Jersey, we understand how busy your life can be — but unfortunately, not all clients understand that this works both ways. Even though a dedicated construction team will be happy to maintain an open line of communication with you as much as possible, it’s also important to remember that your construction team will have more than one client. 

This is why making sure to schedule time for meetings and stick to a form of communication that suits both parties is essential. As the project owner, you’re entitled to want answers to any queries you have, but in general, a reliable project manager will automatically keep you informed.

That said, as your project delivery team, we’ll work with you to set up guidelines as early as possible. This can include:

  • How you like to be contacted, e.g. phone, in-person contact, video meetings 
  • How frequently you’d like to be contacted, e.g. daily, weekly
  • How often you’d like to visit the site/ see developments firsthand 
  • How we can reach you in an emergency

Remember, a good working relationship with your construction team won’t just happen overnight, but there are ways to ensure it gets off to a good start!

Establish boundaries

When working on any kind of building project, it’s also good to remember that strong relationships usually involve trust. This is why in order to keep your relationship with your construction team on track, it’s important to establish boundaries from the start.

But what do we mean by boundaries? 

Project boundaries

For your project to work, you’ll need to ensure your delivery team understands the limitations of your build from the start. Even though many development projects will require a little wiggle room when it comes to timeline and costs, if there’s a hard deadline for your build or a certain budget you absolutely can’t go over, it’s important for your team to know about it. 

Great relationships also tend to be positive relationships, so avoid as much negativity as possible by making sure everyone is on the same page from day one.

Relationship boundaries

If you don’t want to waste time ironing out relationship issues and are striving to only have good relationships with your contractors, setting boundaries for your relationship is crucial.

From not disturbing clients out-of-hours to paying invoices on time, relationship boundaries in the construction industry work both ways. This is why as a project owner, you have a responsibility to highlight any boundaries that are important to you, and likewise, your construction team should feel comfortable doing the same.

Involvement of strategic partners

As a full-service construction and development team serving the New York and New Jersey areas, we’re used to leveraging the services of our in-house team and close network of contacts to deliver projects. However, this isn’t always the case for other firms.

During the development process, clients should expect their construction team to need to enlist the help of external consultants and partners to bring your design to life — especially if they’re working with a smaller team on a large construction.

If you’re working with a firm where third-party employee engagement is required, consider:

  • Whether your lead contractor can suggest contractors/subcontractors, or if you’ll have to research them yourself
  • If your project lead takes charge of hiring additional workers, always request information about their credentials
  • Ensure the services of these contractors have been worked into your overall budget
  • Be on alert for additional charges that don’t align with the work being carried out
  • Make it your business to ensure all safety measures and building code regulations are being followed by all parties on your building site

Trust the process

At Argo Construction and Development, we’re in the business of delivering high-quality properties all across NY and NJ. With over 20 years of experience, we’re well-versed in handling all aspects of your build from start to finish.

With an extensive back catalog of properties to research and a team of seasoned professionals to talk you through the potential of your build, we’re positive that from our very first meeting, you’ll see why so many people in New York and New Jersey come to trust our process.

From optimizing your brief to ensuring no detail is overlooked, we’ve never had a project fail. And with that, is your development next?

As architects and construction experts, we don’t just build residential and commercial buildings, we build strong relationships.

Chat with us today to find out more.

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