I had clients who couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting along with their builder. During our consultation I asked them to give me a completely honest account of the situation. They explained that they were upset because they had a major leak which destroyed their hardwood flooring, they also were upset because the upgraded tiles in the kitchen where not installed in the direction that they had requested.
I asked them if the builder was responding to these issues, and they confirmed that they were, but they also admitted that they were so angry that they were finding it difficult to deal with the builder.
What the builder was prepared to do was replace all of the hardwood, and repair and paint the ceiling due to the leak. The builder offered the homeowners monetary compensation for the tiles not being installed as per the homeowners request. The homeowners however, wanted all of their money back for the tiles. The homeowners also told me that the builder offered to remove all of the tile and re-install them as per the homeowners preference, but the homeowners did not want the mess.
After listening to what the homeowners told me, I could certainly understand their frustration. I did go on to explain, that in my opinion, the builders offer seemed fair. I explained that although the homeowners wanted all of their money back for the tiles, they had to take into consideration that they did get the upgraded tiles, so a partial rebate (monetary compensation) from the builder seemed to be a fair deal. They were also given the option of the builder taking out the tile and re-installing as per the homeowners request. The homeowners were refusing to work co-operatively with their builder. I did go on to explain that emotions were running high, and that although many things had happened that caused anger and anxiety, I pointed out that the builder was trying their best to resolve the issues to the homeowners satisfaction. I explained to the homeowners that if they could try to put their feelings aside and work calmly with the builder, I was confident that things would work out and that the homeowners would be happy.
I told the homeowners to try to speak to the builder without yelling or threatening them. I told them to take a day or two to decide what options that the builder offered would work best for them. I wanted the homeowners to see that the builder was trying to work with them. I also wanted them to understand that it was in their best interest to keep calm, because nothing can be accomplished when the two parties cannot work together amicably. I also wanted them to understand that although their frustrations and anger were at it’s peak, if they could be cordial with their builder, everything would work out to their satisfaction.
The homeowners, I am sure at first, thought I was on the builders side, and that I didn’t really care about their situation. They however; called me a week later, and told me that they took my advice. They kept their cool, they worked out an agreement with the builder, and that the work was getting done in a timely manner. They also admitted that they saw a difference in the builders attitude, and they admitted that they believed it was because they had calmed down.
Builders don’t always work well with their homeowners, and some will not even take the time to try to work things out harmoniously. In most cases however; the builder does want to resolve issues quickly, and if they can work together with their homeowners, it makes the situation that much easier. That is why I always say, the homeowner has total control, because they really do set the tone by their words and actions. They really can work well with their builder by keeping their cool during frustrating situations, and the end result is that they build up a good rapport with their builder which is great for the homeowner.