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Contractors Have Complaints, Too
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 • Posted February 17, 2012 9:29 AM

Contractors and builders have complaints, too. Every job has its ups and downs and contractors are no different. They have a tough job in many aspects. I started comparing my old information technology days in management to my current days in construction and real estate, and they are similar in many ways. Whether you are in corporate America or small town, both jobs have their good and bad days. Both jobs deal with many different entities to reach a final product, or many people to get it done, and countless hours to complete. If there are any hiccups, it has a ripple effect on everything. This naturally causes frustration levels within all levels.

Let’s take the bad first. As a general contractor you wear many hats; front line marketing, client meetings, vendor meetings, subcontractor meetings, inspector meetings, city or developer meetings, and whatever else that might pop up or be involved. You have to be a good juggler, meaning you have many things to keep rolling. If one thing stops, all the balls could fall. Many people don’t understand that when they hire a contractor, they have started a relationship that is going to be built on communication, scheduling, productivity, a finished product, and hopefully a warranty of their work. Not all contractors do the things mentioned in this relationship, but most of the good ones do.

So you ask, why would a contractor have a complaint? Take the first step, getting started. Many contractors will initially work on going to the location to analyze the job and get bids. If you keep changing your mind, the initial job can get delayed for days, weeks, or months. You can’t blame the contractor for this. Not to mention, this could now have an impact on all the other jobs the contractor has scheduled. Therefore, it would be nice to have all your ideas resolved in the first couple of visits with your contractor so they can get you scheduled and complete your job in a timely manner. When a contractor has to go to a location to redraw a totally different remodel 8-10 times because they keep changing their mind, this is the client’s cause of delay. Even worse is if the contractor is scheduled to work and you, the client, sends them home because you don’t want anyone there on that day. This will impact the whole schedule for your project. I’m not saying you can’t change your mind, but do so within reason. And remember, delays can also occur due to weather. Understand that there are many people involved in most projects and they have a trickle-down effect on when your project can get done.

Contractors might have complaints on the materials. They have to know what is good and what is not so good. Some products are just better if you don’t get them from a chain store. For instance, if you get a faucet and the plumber installs it, he probably won’t warranty the product but he will warranty his work. But if the plumber supplied the same or similar faucet and installed it, he would warranty both. Most people don’t understand the boundary between buying discounted appliances, having them installed, and how the warranty will work. Ask your contractor to explain how they warranty things.

So you see, contractors have to deal with clients, sub-contractors, vendors, inspectors, utilities, and more in order to get your job done. And yes, they will have complaints, too.

Now on the good side, a complaint can be good, too. If you don’t have a strong, honest contractor who is willing to stick to a schedule, fight to get something done, and provide warranties that they back up, you might be in a bad situation. So you might see this contractor complain to get you better material, get that permit, make their sub-contractors stick to a tight schedule, and back up that warranty, which is all good.

So next time you hire a contractor or builder, think about what all they go through. You can compare it to your job and all the hoops you might have to jump through to get your job done in a timely, efficiently manner. And remember – complaining can be good or bad, it happens everywhere in both manners.

For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallone

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