Common remodeling misconceptions
Submitted by Bill Simone, president of Custom Design & Construction
It should be safe to rely solely on a Better Business Bureau report to determine if a contractor is qualified.
The Better Business Bureau does provide a very legitimate service. However, they only maintain information on companies that subscribe to their services. They only let you know if the company has had problems in the past. Mistakenly, some people think that if the Better Business Bureau doesn't have any complaints against a company, it must be a reputable firm. This is not true. You cannot rely solely on the Better Business Bureau to determine if you're dealing with a competent contractor. Just because a contractor hasn't had any complaints logged with the Better Business Bureau doesn’t mean that the company is competent, employs honest people or will provide quality work. All that it means is that the BBB does not maintain a file on them. The BBB is a good place to start, but don’t make it your only resource.
The company that offers you the lowest price is the company you should hire.
This is not necessarily true. The lowest price does not mean it is the best price. On a low estimate, you must ask yourself what is being left out or what shortcut is being taken. Be careful in choosing your remodeler based solely upon price. The price you see offered may not include all the services you want performed or the materials you expect. Before you accept a low price, consider the level of service provided, the project's design and specifications, the quality of materials and the value of the warranty.
Some of the most common and overlooked signs of trouble ahead for your project is someone offering to do the work for much less money than other contractors and a contractor asking for large sums of money up front. This could be a tip-off that the contractor is not financially stable, and that could spell trouble for you and your project.
Though price is a consideration – no one wants to pay more than necessary – you should be more concerned with value. Get the best contractor you can find, one who will provide the highest level of professionalism and quality work for your investment.
Custom Design & Construction is located in Los Angeles. Simone is a certified graduate remodeler (CGR) and a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS).
As of July 7, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.