1. Therapist. Remodeling or building is incredibly stressful. Delays, dust, design flaws — when clients need to vent, it's often the contractor who listens. We might not be particularly interested in hearing about your brother-in-law's problems, but if we think we can get you to pick a toilet paper holder if we stick with it, we'll talk you through almost anything.
2. Mediator. Neighbors, inspectors, architects, homeowners, subcontractors — many parties are involved and impacted by a renovation, and a good contractor can keep anyone from coming to blows. Some disputes are bound to occur, and the contractor is often the one trying to reach a resolution, because next to the homeowner the GC has the most at stake.
4. Financial adviser. Your contractor has probably dealt with many banks, insurance agents and loan consultants over the years. Take advantage of this expertise to find out how the money side of building generally goes. Most people finance at least part of any big project, so getting advice can help.
6. Realist. Regardless of what has caused a project to drift into a realm populated more by dreams than reality, the contractor has to bring things back down to earth. Plans with perfect details aren't cheap, and if the money isn't there to build them, the builder is the one who's got to break it to you.
8. Your house's best friend. Even though you may have hired us to figure out why the attic fan stopped working, we're going to listen to what your house has to say while we're crawling though the attic. Is the insulation dirty in spots (a sign of air infiltration)? Is there mold on the sheathing? Knob and tube wiring? A contractor knows a house, and if it has problems, it'll tell a contractor about them.
10. Builder. Sometimes when it's quiet, we get to take off all of these other hats, hang them up and put on our tool belt. It may seem like all we ever do is respond to text messages and chat with subcontractors, but once in a while we actually get to pick up a tool other than a cell phone.