Advocate for Homeowners?  Of Course!

homeowner advocate and contractor advocate

                  “Hello, I’m Diane Plesset.”

What is an Advocate? Many contractors conclude that an advocate always takes the homeowners’ side against them, which is not true. Remodeling is a team effort. If everyone remembers this, and takes their individual responsibility seriously.  There’s no need for anyone to take sides in most cases. There have been only five times in several hundred remodeling projects where a dispute arose. There was clear evidence that the contractor had done something very wrong:

  • Not providing products and services specified in their agreement without communication.
  • Changing the scope of the project without communication.
  • Not providing a written change order before extra work began.
  • Selling products at an inflated price because “warranty service” was provided, without specifying in writing exactly what is included and excluded.

Advocate for Contractors? You Bet!

There have been hundreds of times in the past 33 years when I have been the contractors’ advocate, when homeowners had (or developed) unreasonable expectations:

  • Getting perfect results for a low investment.
  • Demanding a lifetime warranty for everything in the project (including natural wear-and-tear).
  • Withholding payment unreasonably.
  • Wanting the project finished by a specific date after they created delays without accepting responsibility.
  • Required replacement (or payment for) of personal property they claimed was damaged by workers.

My first responsibility, as an advocate, is to provide reliable communication with my clients about:

  • Their expectations: results, investment, and time.
  • The logical steps involved in their project.
  • How to work with construction professionals.
  • How to work with distributors and suppliers.
  • How their product choices affect their investment.
  • Why it’s important to select and purchase all products before construction.
    • Help them stay on track with product selections.
    • Include all of their decisions in detailed plans.
      • To reduce the chances of change orders.
      • To achieve realistic estimates.
      • To achieve the best results.

The projects that have had the best results, with the fewest hassles for the contractor and the homeowners, were the ones where the homeowners were receptive to  and followed professional advice. The contractors involved made more money, because there were fewer delays and there was very little hand-holding required of them.

  • 99% of the contractors I work with have more than ten years of experience in residential building and remodeling.
  • Over 90% of the clients I work with have little or no building and remodeling experience. Most of them are overwhelmed, anxious, and fearful. I choose to help them, because:
    • I want them to have a great experience.
    • I want them to achieve the best results possible for their investment.
      • I do not not sell products,
      • I do not pay or receive referral fees.

This qualifies me to be an advocate for contractors and homeowners. I humbly accept the appellation.

 “See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”

Read about Diane Plesset — her career history, philosophy, and creative hobbies. If you want and need more information about home building or remodeling, subscribe to the “Today’s Home” Newsletter.

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