Carl Seville, former owner of Sawhorse, in Atlanta, and now a consultant to the remodeling industry, developed 26 trade partner checklists — everything from cabinet installation to concrete flatwork, demolition, HVAC, and electrical — to “get people to set expectations and manage performance,” he says. “You decide what you want your trade contractors to do and you hold them to it. This set of documents is an attempt to keep it businesslike and to give guidelines for doing it right.” (All 26 checklists are available for a fee at
www.sevilleconsulting.com.) The checklist creates a paper trail: The trade contractor signs off on the checklist and submits a copy of it with an invoice to the project manager who double-checks against the list and will retain money if needed.
The example here is for the building envelope, which includes framing, siding, and windows. “Sometimes the building envelope is an afterthought because there’s no single installer,” Seville says. “Dealing with those products as a system and giving a single trade the responsibility for it leads to a higher-performance house.”