Contractors Reveal Their 4 Biggest Pet Peeves About Working on Your New House

published Feb 7, 2020
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Renovating a new home is an exciting, albeit stressful, process for new homebuyers. Whether you’re imparting a personal touch to a new build or a customizing a just-bought abode, your contractor is the secret to a renovation’s success.

When considering the scope of your project, it’s important to keep your contractor’s perspective in mind—and it’s my personal belief that the happier a contractor, the more beautiful your subway tiled/soaking tub-ed/marble countertop-ed dream bathroom. I spoke with professionals who shared their project pet peeves and the best ways to keep them (and you!) happy during a reno.


No one bothered Michelangelo while he painted the Sistine Chapel, and you wouldn’t dare disturb Beyoncé in the recording studio. So why keep a close, critical watch over your contractor? Al Rosario of ACR Pro Contractors Corp. in Brooklyn shares that while his team loves their work, “occasionally we do run into a homeowner who micromanages the project, but doesn’t really understand the project and the process of how things are done and in which order they are done,” thus slowing down progress. You hired a professional for a reason, right? Sit back, try to relax while living in a hard hat zone, and let them work their magic. 


According to Rosario, there’s one type of client they see frequently: the “confused homeowner.” “This client changes their mind throughout the project, often resulting in [changed] orders.” Justin Krzyston of Stonehurst Construction, a contracting firm in Los Angeles, agrees. “Clients that are indecisive—that is the one thing that kind of holds up the project.” Having a clear idea of what you want before breaking ground and sticking to that vision will help keep the process moving.


Luxury construction firm owner Amos Guetta says one of his biggest pet peeves is “when the client is not organized and [creates] a mess by trying to force their knowledge on the contractor.” Krzyston agrees: “We live in that day and age of HGTV, Pinterest, Instagram. There are [clients who] are completely hands-off and are ready to go, and there are the ones who think that they are designers, or think that they are builders because they’ve watched HGTV or they’ve seen some things on Instagram. It’s not letting the experts be the experts.” While we all are the masters of our own taste, most of us don’t know the ins and outs of how our ideas might come together, aesthetically or structurally. Let the pros be the pros.

Cold shoulders

One thing Guetta won’t tolerate? “People being disrespectful to my workers, definitely. When clients almost treat my workers as if they don’t exist.” Treat your contractors and workers like your teammates. After all, they’re the ones working diligently to make your vision a reality. Another disappointing behavior? Not spreading the word. Chicago-based independent contractor Luc Gehant shares, “I work by word of mouth.” The highest compliment is when a client is so pleased with the outcome of the contractor’s work that they refer their friends.