Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dealing With The Person With Authority

Today I had reason to meet with a contractor myself. My slate roof is leaking and I am having my house (interior) painted, so we need to fix the leak quickly. Unfortunately the roofer also discovered a number of problems with my chimneys. He then asked me who would be making the decisions about the repairs to my home.

After explaining that I would be consulting with my husband, he requested a meeting with both of us to discuss his proposal. He pointed out how difficult it is to deal with homeowners when it is unclear who has the decision-making power.

Another contractor gave me his contract to review, and he has the owner list the names of the people who will be making the decisions right in his contract.

Homeowners have similar issues. They are often faced with whether an employee or sub has the power to make a decision when the general contractor is not present. They also need to ask who has the authority to make these decisions, or they may be faced with unexpected change orders when they think something is included.

Whether you are a contractor or a homeowner, it is important to know who has the power to make choices over the course of a project. If that person is unavailable, he or she should either designate another responsible party, or provide cell phone accessibility. Projects can get delayed if there is no one available when something unexpected arises, or a change is necessary. That is why it is important to know who has the true authority.

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