An experienced specialist always produces the opinion of a reliable and serious person, with the ability to professionally do their work. An important factor is the ability to communicate with workers. He is always moderately strict and fair, always approaches any situation with understanding. A good master is disciplined and responsible.
The customer is solely responsible for the results of the repair, since he pays money. If the repair didn’t live up to expectations: it was delayed, the work was performed poorly, the cost of the repair turned out to be more than planned, then the customer somewhere grossly miscalculated or overlooked. Experience shows that the biggest mistake is to hire the wrong craftsmen.
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So, Who is the Perfect Foreman?
He has been working as a foreman for more than 20 years, is engaged in apartment renovation, because he began to boil the pot as a student, and gradually it became his favorite profession. He mastered several specialties: he thoroughly knows the work of a painter-plasterer, tiler and joiner. He is often invited to carry out a comprehensive renovation of an apartment, cottage or finishing a new building. For each of these objects, he collects a separate team. In the article, he shares his experience and tells how to choose the ideal team of workers so that they do everything efficiently and on time.
Hire as Many Craftsmen as They Need to Do
It all depends on the scale of the renovation: the more renovation, the more people you have to hire. For example, to repair a bathroom or redecorate a room, two masters are quite enough. If you need to overhaul the entire apartment or to decorate a new building, you will need to involve a team of finishers and several narrow specialists.
The main part of the work is performed by a team of 4-5 craftsmen: a painter-plasterer, a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber and a tiler. The foreman (foreman) will coordinate their work. By agreement, the brigade helps in performing auxiliary work – for example, with cleaning the premises or unloading materials.
Installation of plastic windows and suspended ceilings, installation of air conditioners, doors, assembly and installation of built-in furniture, shower cabins and much more require special tools and experience. It is easier and more rational to entrust these works to specialists. Buying an air conditioner or a hydromassage bath, you can immediately order their installation. So you will receive a qualified installation and a full guarantee for the equipment and its installation.
Conduct Preliminary Negotiations With the Masters
This is, without exaggeration, half the battle. The customer has two tasks: to explain to the foreman what he wants to get and to find out whether this particular specialist or this team can solve the problem as needed. It is useful to draw up a list of issues on paper in advance that need to be discussed with the foremen.
Make a Project that Explains What the Result of the Work Should Be
Write everything you can on paper: make sketches and diagrams. A simple sketch on paper is better than a finger explanation. If you find it difficult, ask the master to help you. By the way, this is one of the criteria that distinguishes a good master from a bad one: a good master will record all the wishes of the customer on paper, ask for sketches and, if necessary, help make them.
After listening to you, the specialist will ask many clarifying questions. Your task at this stage is to make sure that the master understands you correctly and knows how to complete the required work. Ask him what, how and why he will do it.
For example, you want to wallpaper the walls. You will be asked: non-woven or paper? Patterned or plain? These are not just formal questions: different wallpapers are glued in different ways, and the complexity of the work can vary significantly. For your part, be sure to ask how the master will prepare the walls for gluing, what materials will be required for this, how long it will take to work and what problems may arise.
Of course, you do not have to understand all the intricacies of the process, but at least you will be able to assess the master’s interest in mutual understanding and his willingness to answer your questions.
Make an Estimate
An experienced foreman will do it himself: the estimate will list all types of work, indicating their prices and volume. The types of work should be described in great detail so that both you and the contractor have complete clarity.
If you are renovating a room, the list of works may include levelling the walls with plaster, putty and pasting them with wallpaper. However, it is not always necessary to level the walls: if it was done with high quality during the previous repair, there is no need to re-plaster. But you will most likely need to refresh the putty, and there is a difference between the putty for wallpaper and for painting, including the price. An experienced foreman will prescribe in the estimate something like “Putty walls under wallpaper in 2 layers”, then indicate the price per square meter and the total amount of this type of work.
A competently drawn up estimate without good reason does not increase in the course of the repair by more than 10-15%. In addition, it helps to pay for the work of the masters upon completion.
Monitor the Work Progress
Finally, you discussed all the important and minor details and settled many questions – the repair has begun. This is not a reason to withdraw and let things go by themselves.
Of course, qualified craftsmen do not need someone to stand over their souls, but they also cannot do without your participation. There are always questions that require a prompt solution.
Keep Track of the Implementation of the Work Plan and Costs
Periodically “check the clock”: discuss with the master the progress of the work, check with the implementation of the estimate. If you find that work has stalled for some reason, discuss possible solutions to the problems with the foreman. It may be necessary to make adjustments to the original plans, including the cost of work. For such cases in the estimate there is an item “unforeseen expenses”.
Keep track of your material, shipping and waste disposal costs. Write everything down, and keep receipts and reports – this will save you from financial surprises at the end of the repair.