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  • When Meeting a Contractor

    For homeowners out there interested, here are some tips that will make your first meeting with your contractor a pleasant one.

    1) Do not invite your contractor over during your kids 'get ready for school in the morning time', kids are a distraction for both parties.

    2) Do have a specification list and drawing of wants and desires ready for contractor to read as you walk through job.

    3) Do not leave your contractor sitting around while you get ready for work or being on the phone.

    4) Do not invite two different contractors over at the same time.

    5) When contractor is giving you advice, do not tell him he is wrong and pay attention their advice. We see things, everyday that you only see on TV or hear about.

    6) Do not assume the contractor can read your mind (remember the specification list in line #2).

    7) Always check for contractors license, certificates of insurance, and permits BEFORE starting the job. Have them mail your certificates from the insurance agent and check the dates. Go to your states licensing board website for license #. Call city and see what permits need to be pulled. Your contractor should pull all the permits....unless you as the homeowner are subbing out all the trades.

    8) Do not lie to contractor. For instance, "Bob the builder said he'll do it for this cost, will you beat his bid or match it". Thats when I say goodbye....

    Its important, to get to know a Contractor who will build your home or add on an addition to your existing home. A healthy relationship will make your build a pleasant experience. This can be a very stressful time in your life, so be sure to hire the right Company with experience and that you like...

    I'm sure other Contractors can add to this list, so please feel free to do so. I hope there are some Home Owners who can benefit from this post...
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

  • #2
    Re: When Meeting a Contractor

    Originally posted by garager View Post

    8) Do not lie to contractor.
    This is the best advice you could get.

    If you have a reputable contractor at the table, shoot straight with him. He is not there to rip you off. He is there to give you what you want for the end resut, but remember, he has to make a profit on it as well.

    YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: When Meeting a Contractor

      Great list garager. I think I for the most part follow these guidelines.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: When Meeting a Contractor

        I'm not a contractor but I would like to add.
        A penny saved is NOT a penny earned when it comes to picking a contractor. There is a reason why the cheapest guy is the cheapest.
        What kind of worker would be willing to do YOUR job for half $$$ of what you get?
        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: When Meeting a Contractor

          Garager,

          I have been invited to give a presentation to seniors regarding hiring contractors in March. Thanks to you my research is completed. With your permission, I would like to be able to use some of your ideas in the presentation. I will be glad to give you credit for the ideas of yours which I use.

          The focus of the presentation will be from small repairs to building garages and small additions, no large additions or houses. In addition to your list I thought I would stress checking references and building an ongoing relationship with the contractor. References are straight forward but I think building a relationship with the contractor is equally important. After a few jobs you will know the contractor and the contractor will know you and your house. He will be able to point out items that may not need attention immediately but should be planned for down the road.

          Tom

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: When Meeting a Contractor

            Tom, you may do what ever you want with this list. No need for any credit, this list belongs to everyone. But keep an eye on this thread, for it may grow with more statements/comments.
            Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

            http://www.contractorspub.com

            A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: When Meeting a Contractor

              Originally posted by garager View Post
              4) Do not invite two different contractors over at the same time.

              i agree not to have two competior contractors over at the same time but if you have the framer,hvac, plumbers, and eletrictions over at the same time they ofter tend to work with each other by stated what they need and when and where they would like to be at differant phases of the project.
              9/11/01, never forget.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                Originally posted by oldslowchevy View Post
                i agree not to have two competior contractors over at the same time but if you have the framer,hvac, plumbers, and eletrictions over at the same time they ofter tend to work with each other by stated what they need and when and where they would like to be at differant phases of the project.
                Not even in that case OSC. Until all businesses or GC win their bids, then they may meet.
                Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                http://www.contractorspub.com

                A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                  ahhhh my fault i thought you ment they had already won the bids.
                  9/11/01, never forget.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One to add

                    TURN OFF THE TV!
                    Your contractor (or service man) does not want to compete with the OJ trial or Judge Judy or QVC when he's trying to explain something important about your home or your furnace.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                      Garager, OUTSTANDING thread!
                      ALL of the above, and to add:
                      If the estimates have a vast difference in price, it's entirely possible the cheapest one is inexperienced, or sugarcoating the price waiting to tack on "extra's" once the job begins.

                      If a more expensive contractor tells you the expensive materials are necessary for safety reasons, DON'T just assume he's looking to make money..less experienced "contractors" may be cheap, but you pay the price down the road when safety or quality are affected.

                      Finally, to contractors, if you're consistantly closing a high percentage of estimates (better than 30-40%) there is a good chance you might be cutting yourself short on price...keep records and divide your take after taxes by the number of hours invested on the job.
                      If you're not making substantially more per hour than you did working for someone else, you either need to raise prices, or get back to working for a shop with bennies, without all the headaches.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                        In New York State, when bidding municipal work, most of the time performance bonds are required, even for small jobs. I don't know much about the housing industry but wondered if, in a major rehab or new house building, a performance bond would be advisable. Locally, a few times a year, a contractor goes bust and customers are left hanging with bills, lawsuits and the like. I think if I intended to contract for a major job, say $150,000+, I would investigate the cost of performance bonding.

                        As I understand it the one of the factors involved with costs of performance bonds is successfull completion of previous contracts. If a contractor can not secure a performance bond that might be a sign for the consumer to further scrutinize the contractor.

                        Is this worth consideration? If so, at what dollar amount might it be advisible?

                        Tom

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                          In New York State, when bidding municipal work, most of the time performance bonds are required, even for small jobs. I don't know much about the housing industry but wondered if, in a major rehab or new house building, a performance bond would be advisable. Locally, a few times a year, a contractor goes bust and customers are left hanging with bills, lawsuits and the like. I think if I intended to contract for a major job, say $150,000+, I would investigate the cost of performance bonding.

                          As I understand it the one of the factors involved with costs of performance bonds is successfull completion of previous contracts. If a contractor can not secure a performance bond that might be a sign for the consumer to further scrutinize the contractor.

                          Is this worth consideration? If so, at what dollar amount might it be advisible?

                          Tom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                            All excellent suggestions. Only thing I can add, and this may just be my personal experience, would be to shy from the cheapest bidder. You may want to save money, but when you go into that closet or bathroom and notice all the little stuff undone you may realise why the other contractors did not bid so low. For instance 9 times out of ten, in painting, if they are the lowest bidder they are only painting what you can see from eye level or just a slight bend over. They will never bring a ladder into a closet, nor will they get on thier back to paint undersides. Go have a look at the undersides of your closet shelves that are out of view. I see this a ton in my trade not sure about others.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: When Meeting a Contractor

                              Originally posted by garager View Post
                              For homeowners out there interested, here are some tips that will make your first meeting with your contractor a pleasant one.

                              1) Do not invite your contractor over during your kids 'get ready for school in the morning time', kids are a distraction for both parties.

                              2) Do have a specification list and drawing of wants and desires ready for contractor to read as you walk through job.

                              3) Do not leave your contractor sitting around while you get ready for work or being on the phone.

                              4) Do not invite two different contractors over at the same time.

                              5) When contractor is giving you advice, do not tell him he is wrong and pay attention their advice. We see things, everyday that you only see on TV or hear about.

                              6) Do not assume the contractor can read your mind (remember the specification list in line #2).

                              7) Always check for contractors license, certificates of insurance, and permits BEFORE starting the job. Have them mail your certificates from the insurance agent and check the dates. Go to your states licensing board website for license #. Call city and see what permits need to be pulled. Your contractor should pull all the permits....unless you as the homeowner are subbing out all the trades.

                              8) Do not lie to contractor. For instance, "Bob the builder said he'll do it for this cost, will you beat his bid or match it". Thats when I say goodbye....

                              Its important, to get to know a Contractor who will build your home or add on an addition to your existing home. A healthy relationship will make your build a pleasant experience. This can be a very stressful time in your life, so be sure to hire the right Company with experience and that you like...

                              I'm sure other Contractors can add to this list, so please feel free to do so. I hope there are some Home Owners who can benefit from this post...
                              this is by far the most complete list for you guys out there.. simple, direct and makes sense..

                              Comment

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