Coming out of the pandemic with still much uncertainty and a very unstable economy, getting good help or good and reasonable labor is oh so difficult. You may have found yourself thinking about maybe doing some renovations or repairs around your house or business, but getting good honest reasonable help or labor is such a difficult pain in the butt.
There are so many horror stories related to many folks getting ripped off or taken for their deposits with no response once they get your money. Many of these so called legitimate general contractors with fast talking selling pitches are conning many folks, especially those elder ones that have no experience or support to help them through finding a reliable and reasonable general contractor. With the economy being shut down for nearly two years and counting with no real end to this pandemic, the repairs or renovations have been put on the back burner and many are starting to venture out and spend some money.
Renovations and general contracting have exploded with a big shortage in labor and the cost of materials has gone through the roof. It seems like the materials part is catching up, but the manpower or good labor has not stayed comparable. Unfortunately, these contractors have added the materials part to exploding the costs that have been pasted onto the consumer and have inflated the theme and the true estimates that are being handed out. In many of these cases, these inflated costs do not need to be there, and you should be very alert to who you are dealing with and how much you are paying. I will try to give you some tips on what to look for when moving forward with getting a quote and eventually hiring a contractor or getting some laborers to finish a job for you.
Renovations are hectic enough, the last thing you need is to get stuck with less than upright contractors. Here are some flags you should watch out for….
Before you make a deal, you should really be getting estimates and bids from at least three separate contractors. Not only does this give you options, but it gives you an idea of what the real cost of your renovation is. So, while you may be looking for a deal, avoid going with the lowest bids, especially if it’s significantly lower than the others. Fact is, no contractor is going to take a pay cut for their work, which means they’re saving money by using cheap labor or materials.
If your contractor is constantly making apologies for bad subcontractors, don’t assume he’s blameless. Part of a contractor’s job is knowing the best people to hire and managing them once they are hired, which means that he’s the one you should hold accountable for shoddy work or poor behavior.
It’s pretty standard for contractors to ask for some percentage of the agreed-upon payment upfront but asking for more than a third should set off alarm bells. They do typically need some cash to get the project started, but the more a shady contractor asks for and that you give them, the less incentive they have to finish the project. Generally, a 15% down payment is acceptable for both parties. However, you’re paying for the work, also try to make sure that you don’t finish paying before the job is completed, or else risk the contractor prioritizing still-paying jobs over yours.
Contracts keep both you and your contractor safe, and if yours is trying to avoid signing one, you may want to reevaluate your choices. Not only will a contract help keep a time frame and payment schedule in place, but a detailed enough one will also help keep you from getting shorted on supplies, whether in quantity or quality.
If your contractor starts late and leaves early or drinks on the job or never returns your calls, address these issues as soon as possible. Sometimes, it’s easy to explain away these problems by blaming other jobs or paperwork, but if they keep happening, it might be time to consider moving on to a new contractor. Basically, if you have a bad feeling about your contractor, you’d do well to listen to it.
These are just some quick things to look for, but when looking for a qualifies contractor, use all available resources. Word of mouth recommendations from others who have had similar work done recently, information from local licensing agencies, and internet resources like the better business bureau. To narrow down possible candidates, request such contractors to have a license. By contracting your municipal licensing bureau, you can confirm that the company has a license, how long it has been in business and whether any complaints have been filed against it in the past.
One other very important fact to consider is making sure the contractor carries public liability and property damage insurance. Take the time to check with the insurance bureau and as l have stated the BBB or better known as the better business bureau. You can also get carried away with all sorts of requirements, but the ones that l have illustrated to you are in my opinion and the opinion of experts that if you follow these rules of thumb you should be fine.
Finally, one thing that most experts agree that taking some photos at the beginning, in the middle and at the end is the best form of insurance. In a dispute you’ll need to put together a compelling case for why and how the contractor may have failed to live up to the contract. One of the easiest and most persuasive ways to do that is through photo documentation. As they usually say that a picture tells a thousand words. It is very difficult to challenge the photograph and what it shows. We all have a cell and it only takes seconds to take that million-dollar shot.
There is nothing worse than paying hard-earned money for bad work.