We’ve seen it all too often so we just had to put a list together to save you from some major headaches and a hole in your wallet! Do your due diligence before you hire your next contractor. Make your decisions based on multiple factors like experience, good reviews, knowledge of the project and coding requirements. We know money doesn’t grow on trees and it does play a factor when choosing a contractor; however cheap quotes are typically the opposite of a good deal.
1. Ignorance of the town laws and coding regulations:
– Customer hires Company XYZ to build a new deck. The company quotes the customer half the cost of other estimates. Sounds like a good deal, right? Unfortunately Company XYZ didn’t know that to build the deck by code, they needed the correct sized floor joists for the span of your deck. They also left the original support posts which is not only a danger to you and your family, but it simply won’t pass inspection. That original quote that was so appealing at first sight has now turned into a nightmare. If the contractor decides not to bail, you’re looking at replacing or re-enforcing the deck structure, adding significant costs well over the original estimate and ending up with a hacked product.
2. Costs of Materials:
– Has your contractor tackled a project like this before of similar size? Inexperienced contractors can unintentionally underquote a job because they don’t realize the amount of materials needed or they didn’t realize how much it would cost them. The job might go swimmingly to start, however a contractor that miscalculates material costs will be sure to come knocking for more cash. It’s an easy one for them to sell you on because the costs are indirect – meaning they’re not asking you for the money, the lumber yard is. It’s not for their service, it’s for your house. The costs they gave you were a “volume discount” that you didn’t meet, etc. Trust us, they’ll be lots of excuses, the point is don’t fall for the bait and switch type of scheme; in this case, the “estimate total” is the bait and the “real total” is the switch.
3. Shortcuts & Cheap Materials:
– Shortcuts and cheap materials are the easiest things a contractor can do to increase his margins on a project. These things might pass inspection, but they certainly won’t pass the test of time. Cheap materials and under-built work will be very obvious in the changing New England weather. Between the chills and snow of winter and the heat of the summer – houses, decks, and other structures are moving like the owners that reside in them. Choosing a contractor that takes shortcuts or uses materials that are not durable can be a big mistake. Before long, you’ll notice splitting, cracking, warping, fading, and all the other nasty adjectives that require replacing.