Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fostering relationships with trades

The plans are stamped and the permit app. will be filed Monday am. *Exhale.* Our timber framer, who coaches us along politely and gently, tells me that after the permit is received, things will fly into action. I'm looking forward to that... mostly. The challenge for us is balancing our day jobs, of course. My colleagues have witnessed *way* more of this process than they ever cared to. Heated conversations with potential builders, coaxing phone calls to sub-trades (begging for quotes), and head-in-hands groans. Who needs a lunch break when you can spend your time practicing the delicate art of wrestling with the trades? And, for Dave, his work day starts at 8am and sometimes doesn't end until midnight. This could be quite rough for him.

Contractors/vendors are key to the success of the communications & marketing department I work in, so we spend a lot of time on fostering and managing relationships carefully. We even go so far as baking cookies at Christmas. We give a little and get a lot in return. I would suggest the same philosophy is important in home construction. Give a little breathing room on a few deliverables, remember to show your gratitude (food works for the trades too) and, in return, build a great relationship with a tradesperson who will produce a quality product for you. Don't forget to openly admire work that deserves admiration and spread the word to help build their reputation.


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