Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Help Me Help You: Good Job-Site Communications

It's been said part of a designer's job is to act as a marriage counsellor for their clients. Not by me mind you.  I've actually had a couple divorce before we started the remodel … so either I missed the “save their marriage” day in design school, or it’s a silly idea.

That doesn’t mean your designer can’t help you negotiate a remodel with as few disagreements as possible. Kitchen remodelling is as much about communications as it is about colour choices. The trick to keeping it all running smoothly is to find the best way to communicate your ideas clearly with everyone involved.

Job site communications in particular is critical with any large project like a kitchen remodel. Couples often have schedules that prevent both from being on the job site at the same time. Something that is discussed with one spouse in the morning is not communicated accurately (or at all) to the other spouse, and the next thing you know the kitchen is wallpapered in plaid … and nobody wants that.

There are many ways to help ensure proper job-site communications:
  • Email & Text - How did we do this job before text messaging, email and smartphones? A quick email or text to all parties involved can keep everyone in the loop. 
  • Cloud Clipboards – Programmes like Evernote and Dropbox allow you to set up folders that can be accessed with a password. Photos of proposed materials, links to websites, etc. can all be stored on one place. 
  • Message board – I sometimes keep a clipboard on the job site, and have the clients and contractor (and myself) check it every time they come on site. Questions are written, and subsequently answered in one place. Especially good for the not-so-tech-savy. 
Of course, there's always the good, old fashioned method of simply making time for your project.  Making the relationship with your designer and contractor a priority, just like you would for your spouse.  

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