3 Common Mistakes When Choosing a Contractor

If you’re planning to build a house, take a minute and read through this article to avoid getting tangled up with the wrong contractor. Not all contractors can deliver exactly what you want for your home. Choosing the right contractor for your home is important to ensure quality craftsmanship, on-time delivery, and on-point budgeting.

After making the big decision to build a home, comes the next big decision of choosing the right people to build your home for you. Not everyone who’s in the business of building homes can simply look at your home design and build it as it is. Whether it’s because of haste, excitement to build your first home, or simply running out of choices, people end up choosing a contractor that isn’t fully-equipped to meet expectations. In this article, we will discuss 3 common mistakes when choosing a contractor.

1. Choosing the contractor that gives the cheapest quote

Right off the bat, a contractor offering lower rates should have triggered your skepticism. More often than not, contractors that offer the cheapest quote for their services deliver substandard craftsmanship. Should you be surprised? Probably not. Coming into the deal, you might have probably expected that some parts of your house would be substandard and your kitchen design might not even look like someone took an effort to design it.

Paying less doesn’t mean you’re always getting a bargain. Having substandard work and materials would surely mean that you’d have to make fixes sooner, which costs time and resources. Also, it’s good to remind yourself that quotes are just quotes, and it doesn’t give you the full breakdown of what will be charged to you once your house is completed. Some shady contractors attract customers by handing out cheap quotes, leaving customers blindsided by fine-print charges and unplanned expenses. The smart way to choose contractors is to evaluate your quote based on how much it is tuned with reality. A smart contractor factors in expenses due to unforeseen circumstances. A smart contractor evaluates materials based on quality and not costs to match your home design. The right contractor gives you the black-and-white of everything that needs to be done from start to finish, so you can be prepared, and no project will be left hanging due to out-of-budget expenses.

2. Skipping background checks

New York general contractor Mario Barbuto said that People shop for cars more carefully than contractors – and we couldn’t agree more. You might have been enticed by a smooth-talking project manager into building your home with their company, but have you taken the time to look into what the contractor has done with their past clients? It’s just smart to do a little bit of research and see what their former clients have to say about the contractor. Have they completed the project on time? Did they mess up the kitchen design? Are they honest with their billing? These are the questions that you need to answer before agreeing to work with a contractor.

Hot tip: Dissatisfied customers air out their opinion more often. Check the company’s social media page if they have one to see if they have any bad feedback from their customers. Also check the Better Business Bureau website for any complaints filed against the contractor.

3. Not asking for the real portfolio.

Home design pictures on a contractor’s website can be pretty convincing. However, pictures are meant to look good. It doesn’t reflect what you’re really going for – which is a beautiful and durable home. So instead of looking at newly-delivered projects, ask for photos of a finished project 3-5 years after it has been completed. Any confident contractor would be more than willing to share proof that their work is of top-notch craftsmanship.

Another good idea is to compare design with the finished product. How close is the finished kitchen to the proposed kitchen design? Do the bathroom fixtures look as it is shown in the design proposal? Checking finished projects answers two critical questions: How accurately can the contractor follow the design and can they do the job you’re requesting. Answering these questions will take you a step closer to figuring out if you’re dealing with the right contractor.

Whether your new home is your first, last or an investment property, there’s no reason your project shouldn’t be done right with the care, personal service and quality that you pay for and expect. We consider these 3 suggestions as the bare minimum when interviewing general contractors so make sure you do your homework. Aspen Custom Millworks is the leader in personalized custom home design & construction and building long-term relationships with customers is what we’re passionate about. For more information about our services, contact us at: 818-786-2243.