Common Contractor Assumptions
If you don't specify certain things during your remodel or build, your contractor or subcontractors may assume what is typically done rather than what your design or vision is. These are three of the most common assumptions we've run into. We hope you walk through each and specify exactly what you want to your contractor before they begin their work so you can avoid some of the mistakes we've made in the past.
Make sure to have all given instructions in writing (a text, email, document) that you and your contractor can refer back to if there is any issue during or after the work is done.
02 Jun 2023
3 Common Contractor Assumptions
01 Electrical Boxes
If you're remodeling or building, lighting is one of the first things you should choose. Depending on your lighting choices, you'll want to specify where/what kind of electrical boxes to use. Builders normally put a 4-5 inch round or standard box, but sometimes a sconce or other light fixture won't cover that. If you're using a narrow sconce for example, you'll want to be sure to specify that to your contractor so they install the correct size electrical box
02 HVAC placement
Have your contractor point out areas for vents and air intake so that you can plan for furniture, etc. Pay attention to HVAC in basements, sometimes they'll make the ceiling drop to put them in and if you're aware, you can do some planning to make it look more intentional.
If you can, avoid a ceiling drop down that accentuates the HVAC system. Rather than boxing it out, continue the drop down to the edge of the closest wall or drop the whole ceiling altogether.
In my own basement, we boxed out the perimeter of the ceiling to avoid only having one side with the drop down ceiling for the HVAC and to help it feel more intentional.
Another example from my own home, I wish I would've paid more attention to where this air intake was so that I could have put it somewhere less noticeable.
03 Tile Details
You'll want to specify an edge piece for tile in a shower or other areas. If you don't specify a pencil trim, bullnose, etc. then they may just use Schluter and that might not be the look you want.
We prefer to specify a pencil trim rather than a Schluter for a more timeless, cohesive look.
More Questions About Working with Contractors?
We have a class we filmed with me, Marianne, and Andrew Menlove of Timberline Construction where we go over all the ins and outs of working with tradespeople, contractors, and managing a project yourself. Check it out here.