Jennifer Welch Shares Sage Advice for Working with Contractors

The Sweet Home boss says the number one rule for working with contractors is to listen to your gut.

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Jennifer Welch Reveals the Interior Design Tips You Need to Know
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This week, Sweet Home’s Jennifer Welch is guest editing’s Home & Design. The interior design pro is schooling us on Room Revamp 101, so be sure to check back for more great tips each day. And don’t forget to tune in to the Sweet Home finale this Saturday at 9/8c.

If you’re doing a total room revamp, there’s a good chance that you’ll be working with one or many contractors, and believe me, that can be an intimidating situation. But here’s the most important rule: Trust your gut.

The second rule? Be there whenever anyone is hanging or installing anything. Say that an electrician, for example, is helping you hang a chandelier. Don’t be afraid to take the time to add a chain link in, step back, and look at it. If you don’t know if it’s wrong or right, step away from the project for 30 minutes. Oftentimes when I’m doing installations, I’ll leave the house and walk around the block. I have to detach from the process — don’t be embarrassed to say “I need to reset my eyes” — and then I come back in with refreshed eyes and think, “You know what? We need to add two chain links to this.”

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Which harkens back to my earlier point: Listen to your gut! And leads me to my next rule… do not let yourself get bulldozed. If you need to walk away from the project for 30 minutes, do it, because you’re the one who has to live with it. Every contractor, every electrician, every painter, every plumber — they all think they’re an expert on everything and guess what? They’re not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had workers say, “Well, if I was doing this in my house, I’d do it this way.” And I’m just like, “Shut up. Do what I say, I’m the decorator.”

And you need to remember that, too. You’re the boss of your project.

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