Lets face it, remodeling your home can be very expensive. Just like any investment, you want to ensure (if at all possible) that you get the biggest return on your investment (ROI) that you can. There is nothing worst than trying to save a buck on your new kitchen or bathroom, only to hire another contractor to fix problems that the last contractor made. This is a huge problem that is associated with updates or repair work to your home. Trying to save a few bucks on your project, can end up costing you thousands if you have to undo a poorly executed remodeling project.
There are several reasons why there are tons of scenarios that end like the one previously mentioned. Here are some of them:
- Construction workers who decide that they can make more money by doing projects on there own but lack the knowledge and experience to execute the job properly.
- Customers who want to avoid paying the higher cost of having a professional to deliver quality service.
- Altered information given by contractors in order to win the bid.
- Contractors who focus on the quantity of work instead of the quality of their work.
And the list goes on, and on. So what do you do as a consumer to ensure that you don’t get caught in the snares of unreliable and untrustworthy contractors? How do you avoid the pitfalls of poor quality construction? What are the signs that let you know you are dealing with a “shyster?” Finally, what does a legitimate, trustworthy and reliable remodeling company look like? This article was written to help you answer all of those questions, and to enable you to purchase your next home repair or remodel with confidence!
Step #1: Research, Research, Research
Just like in school, in order to complete your assignment with a passing grade, you have to research the subject matter; hiring a contractor is no different. The beautiful thing about the internet is that it allows you to gain background knowledge on just about anything and anyone. If you come in contact with a contractor who you can’t find on “Google” then something is very wrong! This is a major red flag! In the present day, every business that is legitimate has a website, a listing, or at least a Facebook fan page. If your contractor does not have at least one of these, then I suggest that you RUN and run fast!
If the contractor has not taken the time to develop his/her company at least to the level of being able to be found, odds are they are not legitimate. You wouldn’t buy cereal without a name or logo on the box. So, why would you let a contractor in your home without one? To be honest, there is a low margin of requirements to become a contractor in Missouri, just like it is for most small businesses; that’s why it is important to do your research. Know who you are dealing with. Know what kind of reputation the contractor has and how much experience they have in the construction/remodeling industry.
Step #2: Check for Legitimacy
Utilizing the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is the national registry for all legitimate businesses. BBB allows you the opportunity check to see if a business is indeed legitimate. It also gives you, as the consumer, the ability to sift through the sea of contractors and find the one that is the right fit for you and your family. The BBB also gives a grade for each business that is on it’s registry. This grade is much like your report card from high school. The score of “A+” is the highest, and the score of “F” is the lowest. The higher the grade, the more likely it is that you are dealing with a legitimate and trustworthy company.
Another very useful tool is your city’s website. Every business has to be registered in their respected city & state. We are in Columbia, MO. Our city website is, “City of Columbia Missouri” and all you have to do is enter the company’s name. You will find if they are registered and can easily see their business license and information.
Step #3: Watch for the Signs
Just like the old saying “a zebra never changes its stripes,” the same is true with bad contractors. If they have a negative reputation in your community for past work that they have done, odds are that your experience with them will be the same. Find out what others have experienced with this contractor within your community. This step is critical for you. In conjunction with step 1 and 2, it will give the ability to make a sound decision with which company that best suites your needs.
Clarity. Let’s be a little more clear about this, just as you know, it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy. When reviewing company reviews, take everything with a grain of salt and weigh out the pros and the cons. If the good reviews outweigh the bad reviews then you are probably dealing with a good company. If the results are the opposite then you probably should look for another company to complete your project.
Here is a quick list of signs to Watch Out For:
- Doesn’t have company logo on apparel, vehicles, or paper work
- Does not offer a guarantee on the work that is to be done
- Gives a dramatically lower bid on the project than other companies have given
- Charges for Estimates (disclaimer: some legitimate companies do charge for estimates but why choose a company that does this when there are others who don’t)
- Fast talker! Attempts to over-shadow what you are saying and quickly talk you into the deal
Step #4: Pick A Winner
Once you have researched and picked quality contractors, it’s time to “pick the winner!” For the most part, this step has more to do with your personal preference than anything else. How does the seller make you feel? Does he/she sound confident? Do they believe in their ability to execute? Are they actually listening to you? Do you believe them to be ethical and have integrity?
Follow your gut! The biggest determining factor at this point is the experience level of the company that you are dealing with. How much experience do they really have? I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a doctor with 15 years of experience than one with 3 years. The more experience a contractor has, the more likely you are to be satisfied with the finished product.
I suggest that if you live in Columbia, Missouri or are in the close surrounding area, that you check out a company called Backes R&S, LLC. These guys are awesome and here is why I think so! They have:
- Excellent customer service
- 35+ years of experience
- 100% Free estimates
- 2 year Guarantee on all of their work
- Raving reviews
- A proven record of successful repairs and renovations
Don’t get me wrong, there are other companies in Columbia, Missouri that deliver good work, but there has not been one that I have seen that provides better customer service than Backes R&S, hands down!
Don’t just take my word for it, just see what Mrs. Ken Watson had to say about the company!
To find out more information about Backes R&S, visit them today at www.backesremodeling.com or give them a call at 573.446.1903.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to you on all your projects, updates, and renovations!