The following are some dirty tricks used in my chosen profession.
When looking for a Remodeler, why you choose is as important as whom you choose. I usually know the why, I cannot always be the whom, but I can help you not pick the wrong whom…
Apples to Apples- Always compare the estimates apples to apples. There is a reason some remodelers are able to come in lower than others. The ideas below may help you choose the right remodeler.
Building Code Bamboozle- Some Disreputable remodelers will ignore building codes, leaving you with an inferior and sometimes dangerous finished project. Often you are in for an unpleasant surprise when you sell your home.
Contractor Criminals- Many remodelers will hire convicts because they do not do background checks on prospective trade workers.
Elusive Estimates- Some Disreputable remodelers will estimate only part of the job, to come in lower than the competition, and win the job. If you get estimates and there is one that is wildly lower than the others, watch out, you may be in for a big surprise.
Job Jumpers- Disreputable remodelers will start a job and then jump to another. They can string you and your project along for months, as they chase cash flow.
Lawyers, Liens, and Money- Some Disreputable remodelers will not pay their sub-contractors and suppliers leaving you open to lawsuits and liens.
Lower than Low– Some remodelers will low ball the job to get the contract, get some of the work done and then will disappear when the cash runs out. They also do a poor job of figuring the scope of work, leading to unneeded change orders costing you much more than you expected.
Money for Nothing – Dishonest Remodelers will collect a large portion of the contract before work commences and then disappear. They don’t answer the phone or return calls, you never see them again, and your project is incomplete.
Permit Puppeteers- Disreputable remodelers will get the homeowner to pull a permit because they are unable to do this. There are many reasons they cannot pull permits including no license, permit violations, or poor workmanship in the jurisdiction.
Pie in the Sky Promises- Disreputable remodelers will promise awesome and deliver low cost junk. Ask the remodeler what the Material Allowances are and how much is allocated for these items. Get it in writing. Protect yourself. A warranty is only as good as the company doing the work.
Subcontractor Saturation- Some Disreputable remodelers will use only subcontractors, and call them employees, who are paid by the job, to save the remodeler money. This savings does not find its way to your wallet, but their sales force and management profit handsomely.
Uninsured or Unlicensed Remodelers- Ask for a copy of the remodeler’s insurance certificate and Remodelers Builders License BEFORE you pay them anything. If your remodeler is reluctant to furnish you with insurance or license information, it is time to part ways. Know the limit of work an unlicensed remodeler. The State of Michigan limits unlicensed Materials and labor not to exceed $600.00
Verbal Vagaries- Disreputable remodelers will be okay with verbal agreements. You may be sorry if there is no paper trail. Avoid the he said she said dilemma. If your remodeler says they will do something, GET it in writing.
I hope this helps you in your quest for the perfect Remodeler…
Come see me at the GRAHBA Home and Garden Show February 28- March 3