Part 2 of a three-part series

In the previous blog, I wrote about the importance of setting expectations about how your company handles job closeout with your client before the job starts. If you don’t get clear about that, each party has a different, unarticulated idea about how it’s supposed to be handled.

I suggested the importance of engaging the client in maintaining an accurate completion list. How would your lead carpenter do that?

Weekly Meetings

It’s a good practice for the lead carpenter (and production manager, if appropriate) to have a weekly meeting with each client he or she is managing. The best time to establish this practice with the client is before the job actually starts, so the client understands his responsibility in making this happen.

Often, when I mention this to the lead, I hear, “But what if there is nothing to talk about?” Truth is, there is always something to talk about.

At the very least, having this regularly scheduled interaction on the same day and at the same time each week allows the homeowner to keep the lead carpenter current on any issues or concerns.

During these meetings, the lead carpenter should always write down what is being said, and as the discussion about an item unfolds, he will work to resolve the matter with the client. For each item, this is best done by the lead carpenter always addressing:

  • WHO is responsible for the item;
  • WHAT exactly will be done;
  • Whether or not it is a COST issue;
  • And BY WHEN the item will be completed.

The items addressed in the weekly minutes that the lead carpenter or production manager write become part of the completion list. By committing to this practice every week, it makes it unlikely that the client will have a long list of issues to present to the lead carpenter at the “end” of the job.
So how do you help the client understand the relationship between substantial completion and the final payment?

See the next blog in this series to find out.