Working with a contractor to remodel your home is an exciting process, but it’s one that also comes with a lot of questions. How can I choose what products and materials I want in my home? When and how should I pay my invoices? What is the best way to communicate with my build team? Keeping track of all the moving parts can be a challenge. That’s why many construction contractors are turning to systems like Buildertrend to take the guesswork out of project management communication.
Our team at Lamont Bros. uses Buildertrend to organize remodel projects and communicate effectively with our clients throughout the remodeling process. To make the best of your remodel experience, it’s important for you to understand how to use Buildertrend effectively. This simple, easy-to-use system will help ensure that you remain in the know as your remodel gets underway.
In this article, we’ll discuss with you the basics of Buildertrend and how using it will help you throughout your remodel. By the time you reach the end of this page, you should have a strong understanding of the five most important functions of Buildertrend. You can expect to read about:
What is Buildertrend?
Buildertrend is a project management software that connects you, the client, with all the information you need to oversee your remodel. Think of Buildertrend as the “mission control” of your remodel, where all the details of your project reside. Your design consultant will send you a link via email. Once you click this link, you’ll be prompted to create your own login to the program, so you can sign on and collaborate directly with your designers, project manager, and superintendent.
You can access your Builertrend portal directly through a computer web browser or via the app. Once online, you’ll be able to read files, check the construction schedule, select products, pay bills, view progress updates, and communicate with your team.
Your build team also frequently uses Buildertrend to manage their end of the remodeling process. Because they use it daily, they’re already familiar with the program. If you have questions about how to access a specific function, ask your design consultant for assistance.
What are the five most important benefits of using Buildertrend?
At Lamont Bros., we use Buildertrend to keep our projects organized and on track. As the central command center of your remodel, Buildertrend is an invaluable resource for you to use throughout the process. Below, you can read about five of the major benefits Buildertrend provides you during your remodel.
View documents and other necessary information
30 years ago, remodel construction management looked a lot different than it does today. The outdated way of running a home remodel involves a project information binder. This massive book of information contained everything about the remodel ranging from design plans down to product selections.
The issue with a binder is that only a few people can read it at once, and it typically stayed with the build team. Now, in the 21st century, we have better ways to conduct project management. With Buildertrend, everyone has access to the info binder, because it’s all online. This means that you and your entire team are all working with the same pool of information. There’s less of a chance for misunderstanding or miscommunication, and everyone knows where to find information if they need it.
If during your remodel you decide you’d like to change the designs, you can submit a change order through Buildertrend, as well. Change orders are the official way to process changes in the scope of your remodel.
Access your production schedule
One thing that homeowners love about working with a firm like Lamont Bros. is that they get a single build team who they get to know throughout the process. While knowing the personnel on your remodel can often ease some anxiety about the process, living at home during a remodel still comes with its challenges. It can be difficult to plan life around the construction work. Some power tools make loud noises. Plumbing work might require your team to shut off water to the house for a short time. Or, a big concrete truck might need access to your driveway or backyard.
One helpful tool for addressing this challenge is the production schedule, which you can find on Buildertrend. With access to the work schedule, you’re able to see not only the planned work hours for a given day but also the activity your team plans to do and who all will be on site. Having access to the schedule and build plan makes it easier for you to plan out your routine without having to worry about your remodel getting in the way.
Predictable and hassle-free invoicing
Some people hate surprises, especially when the surprise is that your next remodel payment is due. Buildertrend takes the guesswork out of your payment process by setting you up with a predictable, easy-to-find billing cycle. On your Buildertrend portal, you can see your total project cost, as well as a payment schedule that tells you the amount of each payment, as well as their due date. This way, you know exactly when to expect your next payment. Additionally, you can pay your contractor directly through Buildertrend with an electronic funds transfer.
Manage your product selections
One of the most important responsibilities of a homeowner during a remodel is the approval of products and materials. With a designer’s guidance, you’ll select specific items to go into your remodel project, from light fixtures to kitchen appliances and even the covers on your light switches.
Of course, cataloging all of your selections might sound like a bit of a challenge. After all, that’s a lot of information to keep track of, especially when you’re ordering from several different manufacturers. Fortunately, there’s a feature on Buildertrend where you can organize all of your product and material selections, complete with photos, manufacturer information, and product dimensions/specifications. Additionally, you and your team can leave comments on each item to offer any clarifying details or suggestions.
When your build team goes to order the items for your remodel, they’ll use that exact page. This way, you get exactly what you expect with no room for miscommunication.
View team communication and daily logs
If you like getting to see the progress of your remodel as comes to life, you’re in luck. Buildertrend offers a daily logs feature where your build team will provide updates on the day-to-day progress of your remodel. You’ll regularly get to see photos, read about the work that has been taking place, and communicate directly with your build team.
For many of our clients at Lamont Bros., the daily logs are a highlight of the remodel process. Not only do they enjoy getting to see the step-by-step process their remodel goes through, but they also have a collection of progress photos and reports to document their journey.
Tips and tricks for using Buildertrend
While Buildertrend is a fantastic resource for you to use throughout your remodel, there can be a bit of a learning curve. To make sure you are as comfortable with the program as you can be, read through a few of the tips and tricks below to help orient yourself as you learn.
Utilize the communication features
One of the best ways to communicate with your entire team is through Builertrend. You can directly message any member of your design or construction team, and they can do the same with you. Since Buildertrend will likely be the primary means of communication between you and your team as a whole, it’s important for you to be familiar with it.
Learn how to leave and respond to comments
The comments feature on Buildertrend can be an especially valuable tool. Buildertrend allows you to leave comments on product selections, daily logs, documents, schedules, and pretty much everything else on the platform. You can use comments to draw attention to an issue, ask questions, or make any special requests.
One unique feature of the comment function is the notification option. Whenever you leave a comment, members of your team can receive a notification via email. So, if you have a question for your design consultant that doesn’t require an answer from your project manager or superintendent, you can select only your design consultant to receive a notification. Alternatively, if there’s something you want your entire team to know, you can select for all of them to get a notification.
Download the app
As the top authority over your remodel project, it isn’t a bad idea for you to have all of your remodel information at your fingertips all the time. Sure, you could limit yourself to only accessing Buildertrend via your desktop web browser, but the user interface on the app tends to be even more user-friendly and easier to understand. Plus, it’s convenient to have it on your phone when you need it.
Fill out surveys
One way you can help your remodel team help you is by filling out the surveys throughout the project. These “check-ins” are meant to help your build team understand where your head is and how you are feeling about the progress of your remodel.
If something is going well, you should let them know so. Your feedback helps your build team provide excellent service to future clients down the road so other homeowners can have the same experience. If something isn’t going well or if you’re having trouble, you should communicate that as well. At Lamont Bros, we recognize that remodeling can be a bumpy ride, and some homeowners don’t know when or how to express their concerns. It’s important to remember that the first step to solving an issue together is to make all parties aware of it. The survey system provides a convenient, diplomatic way of doing this.
Have more questions about how Buildertrend can help you remodel?
Now that you have a basic understanding of how Buildertrend works and what it can do, it’s time to dig in. Log into Buildertrend yourself by clicking here. Spend some time exploring the navigation menus and comment sections, and be sure to write down any questions you have. Once you’ve collected a few questions to ask, email your design consultant. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process of learning how to use Buildertrend.
Are you new to remodeling or just considering a remodel for your home? If so, we’d love to talk with you! Lamont Bros. specializes in full-process design and construction remodeling. We’ll walk you through the steps of renovating your home and keep the process as simple as can be. Click the link below to schedule a free video consultation with a member of our design team!