I thought it might be interesting to hear some contractor horror stories. Anyone who has been through a remodel, large or small, has probably encountered some really horrific contractors.
BUT to keep it positive, I’d love to hear positive stories too. I am always looking for new and wonderful contractors. I have been lucky to find some really great people to recommend to my clients, but I’m always looking for more. I don’t know what it is about this business, but is very difficult to find contractors that are consistent. I love, love, love my painter and I love my tile guy. Both have done me right and I am happy to recommend them to clients. Of course this doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some problems along the way but how a contractor addresses said problems speaks volume!
I’ve been through my share of contractors. What I have learned is that cheap isn’t always the route to go. I have a contractor who straight up told me that he wouldn’t lower his prices because if he feels like he’s not making enough money for the job, he’s going to resent working. And when that resent sets in, the job is no bueno. In most circumstances, you get what you pay for!
Things to look for:
- He/she spends more time outside smoking than inside working (no bueno)
- He/she is personable (bueno)
- Butt crack (no bueno)
- Missing teeth (eh, who really cares right?)
- Brings their wife and kids to the job (no bueno unless said family member is working)
- Throws trash in your drains outside (no bueno)
- Has a list of “real” references—not their cousin (bueno)
- Looks good in a sleeveless shirt and dirty pants (ahem, sorry I drifted off—BUENO)
- Asks you questions when unsure instead of just trying to get the job done quickly (bueno)
- Asks you to pay him in full for a job in the beginning (no bueno)
- Conveniently has a flat tire or transmission problems the day after he gets his first installment (no bueno)
Another characteristic of a “bueno” contractor is they are often very busy (just like designers). You may not be able to get them right when you want them but in most cases you’d be well advised to try and adapt your plans so you can work with that contractor. Working with a ‘no bueno’ one is an experience you don’t want to go through.