Tuesday, July 13, 2010

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Remodel On-Purpose

These tips will help you choose the best contractor/client for you. The more knowledgeable you are about your expectations as a homeowner/company, the less problems will arise during the project.

Communication and research are truly the first steps to making a wise decision. You do this for most large purchases, why not before you move into the relationship of remodeling?

Homeowners, learn why you “should” never choose a contractor based on the price alone - either the highest (thinking you would receive more value and better product) or the lowest because you “need to get a deal”.

Contractors, learn that it’s OK to say no and why not to choose a client out of the desperation of “needing” a job or the money.

1. You pick a contractor/job based on money alone.
It really is true that “you get what you pay for”. Whether it’s high or low it’s quite simple - know what’s included, what are you really getting for the price you will pay?

If a client isn’t right for you (you see the red flags before you even begin) walk away. Especially if you are desperate for a job because, trust me, if you take that client on simply because you need the money, it more than likely won’t go well.

2. You think all contractors/jobs are the same.
No two contractors are the same and all remodels aren’t the same because all houses and homeowners are different.

Since all personalities are different, it would stand that, since remodeling is a relationship, every contractor will bring something different to the experience, as will each homeowner.

When meeting for the first time, communicate and listen!

3. You MUST shop at least 3 contractors/subs for bids.
Homeowners, just as a good contractor has loyal customers and no time for price shoppers - contractors, so do subs have loyal contractors they work for.

Once you find a good fit, go with it. If you feel comfortable with them and their communication, it’s (in most cases) that simple - flow with it.

4. In a “down market” you should get it for less/charge less.
Homeowners: just as your cost of living hasn’t changed, so hasn’t the contractors’. Contractors: remember this when bidding your jobs. Everyone: use some common sense.

5. You think the job gets done “over-night” or, as a contractor, you underestimate the time needed to complete the job.
When you’re in a hurry to get the bid to the customer or have the job completed and rush the bidding process or the work, no good will come of it. Patience and time, as well as clarity in the process, whether it’s bidding or communicating about the time, is the key.

6. You pick a contractor who doesn’t draw up a sensible time schedule and talk about how that could change. Contractors, heed this.
Talk about time, money and mess up-front, early and talk about it with clarity and good communication/listening. Contractors, take time to really figure out what you need to earn and to complete the job as well as any unforeseen changes and DISCUSS them honestly and in lay terms with the client.

7. Homeowners don’t ask for references and call them. Contractors don’t pay attention to red flags or clues.
This is probably the simplest way to avoid nightmares along with clear, honest communication. Listen, ask questions and if you don’t feel you are a fit for each other - walk away. It’s OK for the client and it’s OK for the contractor to say no.

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