How To Properly Communicate With Your Stucco Estimator

Remodeling your home can be stressful. But having a contractor who understands your ideas and shares your vision for the final outcome can make the process much easier. We sat down with one of our estimators, Kenny Cloutier, to talk about the home remodel process and find out how homeowners can clearly communicate their ideas and concerns to their contractor.

1. What’s the biggest source of miscommunication you have with your clients?

There are a few areas of miscommunication. The biggest one is the work they think they need vs. the work that actually needs to be done. Sometimes they’ll think, “Oh, just stucco this or fix this patch,” but there’s a lot more work underneath that needs to be done.

Another source of miscommunication can be the order of the process. You as a homeowner have to trust your contractor that they’re steering you in the right direction during each phase of the project. If you don’t trust your contractor, you’re going to have a lot of tension when making decisions and following their advice. You want a contractor who will be available to you and can explain the process to you in terms you can understand.

2. What do you do as a contractor to resolve this miscommunication?

I just inform and educate them about the process. That’s the best course. I try to explain each step as we go, and that usually resolves the miscommunication.

3. What do you wish your clients knew before they started trying to talk to you about a project?

Pricing and budget. I wish they knew what it takes to get it done.

4. How do you clear up these misconceptions?

I can either show them samples of actual finishes or give them a photo and explain the whole process and how it’s different from what they see on TV. I try to explain everything in the first meeting.

5. Should homeowners educate themselves by watching HGTV or going on websites like Houzz?

It’s a good starting point, but it’s not definitive. HGTV will tell you they can fabricate and install cabinets in a week. It’s not true. They’ll tell you they can re-stucco a house in three days, and that’s not true either. They don’t always explain the entire process, so they might show something that appears to happen in a week, but would normally take three to four weeks. They also have installers and inspectors around the clock, which we can’t do. If you want to be informed about the home remodel process, read up on blogs and manufacturing sites. Read up on what the manufacturers have to say.