Why contractors prefer to work with designers

Many homeowners are hiring builders and general contractors to do home remodel projects, specifically kitchens and baths, assuming that the contractor will do the design work for them, or help with it. Did you ever think that the builder is a ‘builder’ not a ‘designer’?  And that most of them do not enjoy doing design work, and they wish their clients would hire a designer…

Tasks such as choosing fixtures, finishes, stains, and backsplashes are not part of their job description, nor are they their preference and specialty. The contractors do not go shopping with clients to share their design expertise. They go with the client in order to finalize details and place the order with their trade discount on the client’s credit card. Contractors are the executors of projects, doing the building and installing.

Contractors prefer working with designers, because designers know what they are doing and can make faster decisions, as well as provide construction documents and details.  Working with an interior designer helps the contractor to avoid delays and miscommunication.  Hence, the project can go much smoother, and much faster.  Clients that work directly with contractors often end up stressed beyond belief, finding themselves constantly in and out of showrooms, and with their home scattered with various samples and brochures.  Budget fluctuates constantly, and cost can fly through the roof without significant care on the client’s part. If the client enjoys design, and does not have a full time job (or kids) it may be possible to keep the project on track, although it is still stressful.

Some clients may argue “This guy did my friend’s kitchen and it came out beautifully”.  Homeowners may be surprised and disappointed to find that general contractors tend to use the same sorts of materials and designs on each project they work on, because they have found it to be generally well received.   The paint contractors are generally not super concerned with the color chosen and whether it is right for YOUR HOME, they just want to pick up the paint and get in and out.  This rule applies to most contractors.  They are not paid to care whether a homeowner’s design is unique, and perfect for their personality and needs.  They are paid to install (at least that is the job description).  One may ask, “If a contractor is not interested in helping with the design aspect, why don’t they say so?”  The answer is simple.  They need the work.  Like all people in this trade, they need the work.  Contractors cannot risk losing jobs, so when giving bids, they usually try to be as compatible as possible with your needs.

(blog judy olson)