This blog post was inspired by a phone call I received today from a prospective customer.
I've been working in the construction field now for over 30 years. For the last 12 years my company has focused solely on home remodeling. In my years of remodeling, the products we use on a regular basis are constantly being improved on and resulting in better finishes and durability. The way we install and finish with these products area evolving as well. With the introduction of new building products and innovative tradesman, our field is continually moving forward.
Unfortunatly the home remodeling contracting business has a reputation for having shadey charactors working in this field. Just about anyone you talk to will have a friend, family member or even themselves that have had a bad experience with a contractor. I would like to give you guys a few tips on how to hire a contractor.
First of all, make sure your contractor is actually a contractor. There are many workers out there posing as contractors, some using the "Handyman" vail to advertise and work in the capacity of a contractor. I'm sure many of you have seen trucks advertising a Handyman service. The state law for working without a contractors license and acting in the capacity of a Handyman is; You may do work where the total cost for labor and materials do not exceed $500. I see handymen advertising Kitchen and bathroom remodels all the time. How many of you have ever seen a kitchen or bathroom remodel completed for under $500? You can check any licensed contractor status by visiting CSLB.org. There is something to be said about a person who has taken the time to study and become a licensed contractor. Most are career construction workers who have excelled in their industry and are know becoming their own business owner. If you decide to hire someone who is not licensed, you will not have any recourse for shotty or incomplete work, or if he decides to take your money and run.
By hiring a licensed contractor you have already taken away some of the risk, but not all. Make sure the contractors you are interviewing are capible of completeing the work you are asking him to do. Just because their licensed doesn't mean their an expert in that particular field. Check local references of the type of work your having done. Make sure that your contractor gives you a detailed written estimate. This estimate should include what your contractor will and will not include, what you will provide, square footage of work, what type of materials and a timeline for completion. The more detailed the better. This will keep change orders to a minimum and will work to make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page.
Last but certainly not least, MONEY! This is the most important one. Make sure your contractor provides you with a payment scheduel that is based on the amount of work that has been completed. keeping the scales balanced is the best way to keep a good working relationship with your contractor, and your contractor with you. Once the scales tip one way or another it is not good for either side. understanding that a good contractor is their to give you good customer service and quality, hoping to be refferd by you to help make his business grow. He also is make a living, and sometimes is responsible for others living as well. Making sure invoices are paid promptly and a way to show your contractor that you appriciate what they are doing for you, a little pat on the back and a "Good job" also goes a long way.
Many homeowners today are being tempted by low housing costs to pick up and move to new homes. It sounds exciting to be able to purchase a home that was worth $700K three years ago and sells for $400K today. In the long run is this the right way to go? I'm looking at this from the homeowner's perspective that is in my age group, 40-50 years old and plans to retire around the age of 65 on a moderate retirement plan.
First of all, the housing market is flooded with bank owned properties. Now you have to try and sell your home in an already saturated market. Not to mention the realtor fees and other costs you will incur making your house "Sale ready".
Robb Nimmo Builders, Inc
"Providing fine home remodeling to your most valued asset"
In all service related businesses we encounter many unique types of customers, some good, and some not so good. Like any good businessman or woman, we all do our best to manage expectations, and provide the best customer service we possibly can.
My business, Robb Nimmo Builders, Inc, specializes in home remodeling in Temecula, Ca. including room additions, kitchen & bathroom remodeling. I've been in the remodeling industry for 28 years and have had the opportunity to meet many different people. The reason for me writing this article is to share an experience I recently had on a kitchen remodel we just completed.