“Show me in writing!” Steps to Avoid the Con-Man Contractor for Your Home Renovation Project – Part 1

Unfortunately, we’ve all heard horror stories about home remodeling gone bad – unfinished projects, shoddy workmanship, projects taking longer than expected, final bills coming-in higher than quoted, unreturned calls, lack of communication, strangers in your house, and even more.  For the past 6 years, Home Improvement Contracting has been in the top three areas of consumer complaints reported in the NACAA/CFA Consumer Complaint Survey Report.  Here are some things to look for (and ASK for!) to ensure a contracting company will do your job right, and avoid the unfortunate reputation:

Reference Letters

Ask for letters of reference not only from satisfied clients (obviously a must) but also the suppliers and subcontractors that the company uses on a regular basis.  Excellent contractors build a team of like-minded professionals that not only know their trades very well, but also understand the importance of quality,schedules, and customer service that good general contractors aspire to.  This way you know the company can not only prove their prowess in business, but also that they are financially responsible with their business accounts.  HERE’S A HINT: Subcontractors give the best price and preferences to the best general contractors.  This way you get the very best subcontractors at the best price!

Ask for a letter from their company’s bank!  This will highlight the bank’s judgment of character of the company you’re working with.  This is also an easy way to verify the company’s financial stability – an essential characteristic for someone you’ll be trusting with your home and treasure!  Remember:  the low bidder has no motivation to do your job right.  Picking the right contractor is more important than price.  You get what you pay for.