Avoiding Those “Bad” Contractors

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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Mistakes. We all make them when remodeling a house. We once hired a contractor to pull off door and window trim, add drywall and put the trim back on. “Should we label the trim for you so you can keep track of which trim goes where?” we asked. “Oh nooooo……I’ll take care of that,” he said. Well, he somehow forgot as he hauled trim from the entire second floor out to the garage and left it in a heap for us to sort through. Then he wanted to charge us extra to put it back on.

Get the Right Contractor

So, hiring the wrong contractor is always at the top of my list of mistakes to avoid. But, how do you avoid it? You all know the drill about checking references, but take it one extra step and go visit the contractor’s other projects and take a look around. Snoop. Talk to neighbors. Ask questions. You’ll learn whether your contractor can really do your type of home improvement project!

 Ask if:

  1. The contractor showed up on time and worked a full day? Sounds like an obvious job requirement, but you never know!
  2. He was easy to reach via cell phone during the day or did he disappear (into a bar…to another job…who knows).
  3. He used good subcontractors who were qualified, courteous, etc. ? (We overheard our nightmare contractor calling subcontractors from out of the phone book … little did we know he didn’t have a crew, but thought he could round one up at the last minute!)
  4. He was good at solving problems. You’ll never get a problem-free remodeling project, so focus on how the contractor handles problems.
  5. The project come in on time and within the budget? Why not?

You’ll get to know this contractor pretty well by just talking with his previous customers. When in doubt, keep looking. There are plenty of good contractors out there. If you’re having contractor woes, here’s more on handling contractor disputes.

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  1. One Response to “Avoiding Those “Bad” Contractors”

  2. Oct 17, 2009

    hmmmm I like this post but I would love to see some on how to save on construction costs in this tough market

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