Dear Contractor – How to Communicate with Women

It isn’t a large space, and there weren’t particularly thorny issues to deal with.  Few demolition or construction surprises.  But five months to renovate a kitchen only proves that while men and women are from two different planets, contractors are in a different solar system.


I love our guys and gals.  For the most part, they’ve done a good job from a craft perspective.  The kitchen – now almost completed – is gorgeous and everything I expected when I designed it.  But communications have been a tricky thing.

I’m not hard to find.  I work from the house, after all.  I’m here most days.  A cell phone accompanies me everywhere.  I email and text more regularly than I should.  I’m so connected that it distracts me at times.  But when it comes to getting information from some of my contractors, you’d think I expected smoke signals to reach me on a windy day.

I have only one set of boundaries when it comes to business communications.  I don’t do business before my morning coffee or after my evening wine.  This gives people at least twelve hours of the day when I am willing to negotiate, schedule and order things.

This whole contractor communications thing has proven to be tricky, though.  Example:  We needed to schedule the installation of toe-kicks under the counters, and the general contractor asked that I call the subcontractor directly.  Eliminate the middleman.  Me:  Phone message to subcontractor.  No response.  Me three days later:  Same – and ditto.  Finally, a voicemail to the general contractor the next afternoon produced a text saying he couldn’t reach the sub either.  Then the sub called me – at 8:45 at night – and said he got my voicemails.  And I should call him to schedule the installation.

Gee, what was I doing???  Mad doesn’t adequately describe what I was feeling, though I played nice, and when I finally got him on the phone, put a smile in my voice to ask when he could have someone out here.

Then I found out the rest of the story from the worker who arrived for the installation.  A tree fell on the subcontractor’s house, and he had to move his family to a hotel.  He was trying expedite repairs while still conducting other business.


Dear Contractor – you could have told me that.  I would have understood, and I would have said we can wait until he has his roof fixed and his family back home.  These are toe-kicks – I can cook around a lack of toe-kicks.

I can only surmise the subcontractor was trying to appear stoic, as guys tend to do.  But guess what?  He was communicating with me, a woman, and if I had known, I would be more than understanding and accommodating.  I might even send a homemade meal for the family.  It isn’t like he hasn’t already spent months in my home.  He’s almost earned a holiday card in December.

Dear Contractor – tell me what’s going on.  I’m much more likely to be flexible when I know the whole story.

What challenges have you faced with contractor communications? Do you believe the different planets thing?

About The Author

Yvonne Kohano

Award winner and storycatcher Yvonne Kohano writes contemporary romantic suspense in her Flynn's Crossing series. She is also working on a psychological thriller trilogy, and producing nonfiction books with tips for creative types. In addition to running an indie press, Yvonne loves to cook (dedicated foodie), garden (plantaholic), travel (anywhere), and read and learn (anything). She, her husband and their dogs love their home in the Pacific Northwest. Follow her at and on Facebook and Twitter to learn what tickles her about being a writer.

Comments are closed.