Supervising the Construction

Follow our guide for establishing a positive working environment while your house begins to take shape.

By Bob Vila | Updated Jun 17, 2019 2:21 PM

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Construction Supervision

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During your construction project, you will have to deal with the workmen. Even if you feel comfortable with them—and especially if you don’t—it is important that you keep a couple of considerations in mind. I call it the “3 P’s”:

These men and women are pros in their own worlds. You need them. You wouldn’t dream of buying a car and assembling it yourself, would you? In the same way you leave a mechanic to do his or her job, let the carpenters and electricians and plumbers do theirs. Watch if you wish, but don’t interfere.

Step back, count to ten, think before you speak. Speak your mind, but with a little perspective. Don’t violate chains of command. Yes, you’re the boss, but unless you are also acting as your own GC, you are not the only boss.

Be polite and complimentary. Even if you are not totally satisfied with the work, you are better off finding something good to say about part of it (to the fellow or gal wielding the hammer, as well as his or her boss). Then, through the proper channels, detail the problem areas to be corrected. It is human nature to want to do better work for someone who appreciates it and, conversely, to be less inclined to work for the person who doesn’t know how to do anything but complain.