It’s a tough business in real estate and construction. You have good and you have bad. You have honest and you have those who can sell ice to Eskimos. You have to know when to follow and when to run. So let’s determine when you should follow and when you should run.
Sometimes it is hard to know when to follow and when to run. Because a dishonest person can really sell you a bill of goods that they cannot deliver. So you have to protect yourself. Times are changing and money is harder to come by. In construction, I will tell you a few things that might help you in the long run.
First off, you need to get a list of reputable contractors. How to build this list? Check with the local newspaper, local Chambers, friends, or family. Always interview at least 3. But have your list of questions to give each one, so you are comparing apples to apples. Now your homework starts. See the work that has been done by some of these contractors. Call their references. Ask how they get paid, warranty their work, and how they will communicate with you. They should give you an agreement to sign initially to start showing the draws and schedule. They should tell you in details what they will be doing and the materials they will use. Being a small town, most contractors who have subcontractors are on the jobsite daily, making sure they are doing the job properly, with quality, plus more. If you are not present to watch your project, have the contractor send you pictures at different stages. There are so many ways to communicate. Pictures, videos, Skype, and more are just a few ways if you are not able to watch or check on your job. Most contractors will be happy to accommodate you. Finally, always check contractors’ references. Again, call several people. Ask them how they performed, how they kept their job site, how they handled issues, were they on site, did they pay all their bills, did they complete the job in a timely manner, did they want all the money up front, were you satisfied with the finished job, are just some starters. If any reference tells you they are unhappy with the job – Run. Personally, every job we do, we tell the folks,“This is a small town and we see everyone walking down the road and want to look you in the eye.” So think about that.
Now if you have interviewed your three contractors and one tells you they want the money up front, doesn’t check on their job sites regularly, warranty does not compare to others, will not give you anything in writing, or anything else that sends up that red flag – run.
There will be some contractors with whom you can just sense there will be issues. Most of the time your gut is right. So in conclusion, you really need to interview them, do your homework, and communicate how you feel and what you want, check out those references! Protect yourself so you can look them in the eye after the project and not have to Run.
For all Your Real Estate and Building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658.