By placing a higher emphasis on checking references, and ensuring that your contractor can perform the work, you avoid costly mistakes.
by David E. Benner
All too often, I hear stories from people about a contractor who failed to finish a job or who cut corners leaving the customer with an unacceptable result. The demise can almost always be traced back to the bidding process. When you collect bids based on numbers alone, it becomes easy to fall prey to the price trap. Low prices often mean low quality. By placing a higher emphasis on checking references, and ensuring that your contractor can perform the work, you avoid costly mistakes.
My framing contractor, Rich, recently had an experience with a homeowner who was acting as contractor on his new home. The homeowner collected bids from several framing contractors. The homeowner really liked Rich; he is honest, punctual and has an impressive list of satisfied clients. The homeowner, unfortunately, made the decision to go with a contractor that came in $3.50 per sqft. cheaper. The homeowner asked Rich if he could match the price. Rich explained that the bid was already bare bones and there was no room to move lower.
A few weeks later the homeowner called Rich in a panic. The company he hired started the work using a large draw from the bank. They were only a fraction of the way into the framing when the crew for the framing company contacted the homeowner informing him that they had not been paid and were pulling off the job. The contractor hired to do the work vanished, along with the first draw from the bank. Now the homeowner can’t move forward because the bank will not release more money without substantial progress. The project is paralyzed. The homeowner will need to pay thousands of dollars to fix the existing sub-standard work and make up for the first draw that disappeared with the low-price contractor.
Especially in these tough economic times, it is critical to hire a remodeling contractor who is a proven professional with a solid set of references. Don’t become a victim of the price trap.