How to Drive your Builder Crazy
We take our profession as homebuilders very seriously. We look forward to creating the kind of comfortable yet professional relationship with each homebuyer that will disprove stereotypes about builders, contractors, and the construction industry.
That being said, we also try not to take ourselves too seriously. We enjoy a good joke, even at our industry's expense, and hope that humor will foster goodwill and a more relaxed atmosphere during the project.
It's true that the construction industry has some image problems. One of the prevailing stereotypes about our profession is that of the "truck-and-dog" contractor who talks a good deal, gladly takes a deposit, but then never shows up or fails to complete the work. Naturally, he can't be reached by phone, email, or GPS. As much as we hate to admit it, those bad apples exist, providing ample material for people (and the media) to gripe about builders in general.
In the spirit of equal time (and with tongue firmly in cheek), we offer the following "Seven Deadly Sins" for driving your builder crazy. Here's your chance to get revenge on our industry—but hopefully not on us, specifically!
- Avoid making decisions. That'll ensure a phone call (probably several) from your builder so at least you'll know he's still alive.
- Make several change orders, then get outraged by the additional costs and delays. Actually, we welcome this because it helps us refine our change order process and puts our customer service training to work.
- Refer to your brother-in-law's opinion, neighbor's know-how, or your 10th-grade shop class experience to challenge our expertise. Hey, if you got an "A" in the class, we might listen.
- Poach our workers by asking them to come back when the job is finished to do another job "off the books." We have the numbers for the local IRS office and building inspector on speed dial.
- Allow your kids to run through the job site, up ladders and over the various power cords and hoses snaking through your unfinished home. Just don't be surprised if we ask one of them to crawl inside a heating duct to retrieve a screwdriver.
- Call your builder in the middle of the night and on weekends about problems that can wait until Monday. In this economy, we're not sleeping, anyway.
- Wander around the job site muttering "It doesn't look finished." Chances are, it's not finished. But if it's not finished at move-in, then we have a problem.
Our thanks to an article we found in the New York Times News Service for these fiendish suggestions. Remember, these are for demonstration purposes only. Please do not attempt these stunts during your actual new home project!