Avoid the Contractor Bait and Switch & Financially Risky Remodelers

When deciding which remodeler to hire to tackle your project, there
are dozens, if not hundreds of factors to consider.  But try not to be overwhelmed!  Over the past few months I have given tons of helpful decorating and pricing tips on the Secrets to Top Home Remodeling. 
Below are two more very important items to look out for in potential
remodelers that can either make or break your renovation.

Hiring Inexperienced Workers

Experienced building tradesmen (carpenters, drywall installers,
electricians, etc.) are in high demand. They also command a fairly decent
hourly wage from their employer.  A
common way for remodelers to cut costs is to use inexperienced workers who are
paid less with the hope that the homeowner won’t notice that the workmanship is
sub-par.  In the home improvement
business, experience is typically worth the premium you’ll pay.  They’ll get the job done faster and with
higher quality.

To make sure your remodeler doesn’t use the “bait and switch”
method for promising top caliber workmanship, and delivering bargain basement
sub-contractors, ask lots of questions up front.  Pay attention to the details about your
contractor and his workers.  Many
contractors will play the game of saying that their workers average 10 years of
experience.  This may be a true statement
except the reality is that they have one guy with 30 years and two guys who are

Fly By
Night Remodelers

We’ve all heard the horror stories of homeowners who contracted
with a builder and paid the deposit only to have the builder quit within weeks
of starting the project after they’ve done the demo and deposited your check.  Unscrupulous contractors will come into your
home, tear up the site, and then disappear for days, weeks, or even months on
end.  Financially, this contractor has
gotten himself into a situation where he has to start a new project to get
enough money to finish off the last project.  It’s very much like the person who
keeps getting new credit cards rather than living within their means.  Eventually this contractor just gives up any
pretense of finishing the project and walks away from the contract.  Meanwhile the homeowner is left frustrated,
stressed, and financially wounded.  The
following can help you avoid unfortunate situations that can arise during
remodeling projects:

  • You should
    also look for a well-established contractor who can give you several client
    references from the last 6 months to one year.  The more recent references will give you a
    better idea of how they will treat your project.
  • Ask for
    the name of the contractor’s accountant or banker.  By doing this, you can ensure the contractor
    is financially sound and won’t be declaring bankruptcy in the middle of your project.

It is important to be educated about contractor’s common deception
techniques, so that you can recognize and avoid them.  With all the gloom and doom talk about unprofessional
remodelers, don’t let that paralyze you into not making a decision.  There are plenty of skilled, hard-working and
professional remodelers out there, you just need to know how to weed out the