Few things cause homeowners more frustration, headaches, and money than dealing with contractors, subcontractors (called subs), and small job handymen. Horror stories of botched jobs and misunderstandings abound. But, interestingly, they’re mostly the result of communication failures on both sides and of homeowners having unrealistic expectations.

Even top-notch builders face the same homeowner frustrations as the rest of us. Yes, they have dripping faucets and cracked driveways too, but pulling a plumber off the job that’s a week behind to fix their problem isn’t going to happen. They know they have to deal with their client’s problems first.

The gritty truth is that no homeowner has the skills or ...

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