Thursday 28 November 2019

The importance of using reputable contractors, part 2

As discussed yesterday in [part 1], it's important to do a little research on the reputation of a contractor before jumping into a project with them.  Some further thoughts:

Impact on resale value

If you're looking at selling the property and find yourself with poorly done renovations you can afford or don't have the time to fix, these issues could block a sale or cost you in the sale price as buyers compensate for the costs they expect to pay to fix it.  You don't want to risk using a contractor who's not fully invested in their business, who could significantly slow your plans for selling or impact your bottom line.

How quickly will they and get it done?

And speaking of slow.  As I said before, there are 'weekend warrior' handy-persons out there who are great.  But sometimes the part-timer will take longer than expected, simply because they have less time committed to the business.  They may also be slower because of inexperience, no helpers, or a lack of specialized tools of the trade.  I've heard horror stories like a roofing job taking months to complete because of scheduling issues.  Not to mention times when they just stopped showing up mid-renovation.

Just how reliable is that warranty?

Many of these part-time contractors won't give a warranty on the work.  But even if they do, it's only as good as their word. If they don't honour it, then your only recourse is a lawsuit, which is an expensive time-consuming headache even if you win.  And I've seen situations where the contractor was non-responsive to calls and messages, and was impossible to track down with zero web presence or business contact information available.


Get multiple quotes on a job.  But don't be easily tempted to just take the cheapest, especially if it is significantly cheaper.  If you're not getting a solid referral from someone you trust AND who has actually used their service ("I've never used him but my neighbour does that" is barely better than a random choice from the classified ads), then look into them first and really take a critical look at their reputation.  If they're not easily searchable online or don't have positive reviews, I'd think twice about using them.

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