It is difficult to find a good contractor! A dilemma that most home owners face when wanting to hire the right contractor to renovate their homes.
There are a lot of bad contractors out there, but the reality is, there are a lot of really excellent ones out there as well. So, if you can’t find one, you should first look inward to figure out what you are doing wrong.
You have high expectations.
As a Home owner, we want our contractors to:
Give the highest quality work.
Provide us with rock bottom prices.
Provide free drawings.
As the saying goes “ If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” . If you want the best contractor for your project, you will have to pay more.
You always take the lowest bid.
The conventional wisdom is to get a minimum of three bids, then take the lowest one. For some even, the more bids the better. The problem is people believe contracting is a product and not a service. A product such as a book or an electronic device is standardised — once you figure out which model or item you want, you can simply go find the cheapest price. You get the same thing regardless of what you pay.
Contracting is a service, and you get what you pay for.
Stop taking the lowest bid!
So, let’s just get it out of the way — stop taking the lowest bid. The majority of the time, the cheapest bid will result in the lowest quality work and you may end up redoing the work.
Obviously, you don’t want to overpay for the job, so how do we get the lowest price for the service you need?
The key: compare price for service.
To make your decision making easier, rank each contractor in each of the following category
How fast and efficient were they? How quickly did they come back to you with a quote. If you have to constantly remind them to provide you with the quote, then you may have to rethink about awarding the project to them. You want to hire someone committed that understands your needs. Time is of the essence.
How detailed was the quote? Did they miss a lot of items you had listed down ? If they did, that could translate to either being very forgetful or they had intended for their bid to appear lower than others by leaving out some of the items on that list.
Were they punctual on the first and subsequent meetings? If they were late, it says a lot about their character and the possibility of the project being even delayed if they have the ‘Tidak Apa Attitude’.
Provide great re-modelling tips and design ideas to improve projects within your budget. A good contractor can also advise you on where to save cost.
Work with very little oversight. You want to hire someone who needs little to no supervision. You will want someone with experience. A good contractor with years of experience should be able to provide you with references.
Provide professional invoices and quotes, have proper licensing, and even be able to provide insurance coverage (required in some cases)
Give the highest quality work. To determine this, the home owner must view any on going project site/sites or previous work that was completed before making a decision.
Get rid of any contractor who doesn’t score well in all your “need to have” categories. Then start getting quotes from the rest.
When you get the quotes from the contractors, put them in the same order as the service they are providing to you.
If one price is considerably more or less than the others, immediately discard that. The costs for a job don’t suddenly decrease, so low bids are suspicious. Really high bids can be overcharging, paying for better service, or paying for more overhead expenses. Regardless, we don’t need to pay for that either.
Now you have a great list, and it should be pretty easy to choose the best one at the best price.