You may think that a reputable licensed remodel contractor will cost you more to complete your project than hiring “Joe Smith” that randomly knocked on your door, and you’re most likely correct. Let’s be honest, it’s extremely tempting to go with the guy that works out of his truck telling you that he can remodel your home, paint its’ exterior or build you that extended covered patio that you’ve been wanting for 40% less than the written quote you received from your local general contractor. In that moment do you wonder why there’s such a big cost difference or simply hand over your hard earned money to “Joe Smith” to start your job? Hiring that cheap contractor is risky business that every homeowner should beware of and we’re going to reveal why.
Insurance, Who Needs Insurance
When you entrust a contractor into your home you are putting yourself at immense risk. Obviously carrying the proper coverage comes at a cost and “Joe Smith” could be skating by without being insured (or worst yet unlicensed) in order to save money and pass along that great deal to you. What you don’t know is that if he gets hurt while on your property working it is your responsibility. Accidents can and do happen. Is it really worth losing your home or life savings in a lawsuit?
Solution: Be sure that your remodel contractor carries the proper insurance coverage for both general liability and worker’s compensation. Ask for proof of coverage. A reputable company will be more than happy to provide current documentation to you.
Contracting Without a License is Against the Law
The law simply recognizes that advertising to perform services requiring a license and/or acting in the capacity of licensed contractor without one is a violation with said penalties. In many instances these ‘con men’ are not caught and penalized until the worst happens and a homeowner(s) are taken for their money and/or left with sub-par unfinished work forcing an investigation and legal proceedings. Then not only are they now broke, but also left hoping that they are awarded restitution in order to afford to finish (or redo) the project properly. During these types of proceedings you are inconvenienced living in a home that may now have hazards from work being unfinished and/or done incorrectly as well. Keep in mind that “Joe Smith” makes his living working out of his truck going from house to house and has had plenty of practice misleading homeowners.
Solution: Before hiring any contractor to work in your home, do your research by visiting the Arizona Registrar of Contractors or registrar in your municipality to view the contractor’s license record and verify that the person you are working with is in fact an authorized representative of that contractor.
Low Ball Estimates Are Too Good to be True
In order to provide low cost service, something else in the project has to be the trade off. It could be cutting corners like using substitute materials, inexperienced labor, ignoring code enforcements or worse. These risks come at a cost and if the contractor isn’t covering that burden up front, you’ll be the one paying for it later. Cheap contractors cost homeowners just like you thousands of dollars in poor workmanship and penalties.
Solution: Always collect estimates from 2-3 reputable remodel contractors. This will help ensure that (1) you are getting a fair price for your project which let it be known is not necessarily the lowest price and (2) that everything necessary is included in the job scope. Double check that the cost of daily clean-up and haul off of debris is included in the bids, or you could have a real mess on your hands., and make sure that a warranty is outlined.
Talk is Cheap
By hiring a “Joe Smith” that knocked on your door you are putting 100% of your trust into his practiced sales pitch. He can be quite convincing, but talk is cheap and easy to do. A year down the road when you have a warranty issue that needs to be addressed do you think that “Joe Smith” still be in business to remedy your problem? When you call his cell number to find it’s disconnected or calls are no longer being returned, you could find yourself in the position of having to then pay another contractor to fix what should have been covered as a customer service call, thus costing you more out of pocket.
Solution: Due your due diligence by consulting with your local home remodeling industry experts, visit the Better Business Bureau for a quick background check on any company, ask for referrals or visit online referral sites (i.e. Angie’s List, Houzz, Google, Porch.com) to read about what other homeowners have to say about the company, their quality and customer service.
The cost of ignoring these red flags and hiring a cheap contractor could be exponential. That is why the team at Todd Whittaker Drywall Inc. (TWD) is your perfect solution. Being licensed, bonded and insured, they have been trusted since 1996 by homeowners in your very position. “Honest People. Fair Price. Projects Done Right.” That is a motto that they live by every day. Visit them online at https://www.twdaz.com for a full list of the repair and remodel services they offer. And while you’re there, take a look at their live feed of real customer testimonials to see what others are saying about them!