This is the topic that we often deal with more than any other because on the surface it really should be a simple answer but as with many issues in this industry it never is. As an industry expert I couldn’t have a stronger view on this topic. In the past we’ve lost many bids because someone bidded much lower than our quoted price, at times even in half. If it was the same job we were bidding on and we’re providing the same service, we’d have no issue losing to a legitimate competitor. As good as it may seem to be getting a great deal, the truth is almost always hidden in the details. This industry has an ongoing issue with dishonest contractors that make it harder for the honest ones to do business.
I’m sure we’ve all heard some of the horror stories that usually go something like this: A homeowner wants work done so they call a couple different contractors to get a price and one contractor comes in drastically cheaper. The homeowner questions the cheaper contractor just to be certain they’re getting the same work and when all their concerns are addressed the homeowner hires them. The end result usually varies but always adheres to a similar pattern, the homeowner loses the hard earned money they spent. After all that they have to take the contractor to court and then they need to hire a reputable company to not only do the work they had originally wanted but also repair any damages the dishonest contractor made, which is now going to cost the homeowner more than what they were originally quoted. Most times during this scenario the homeowner would be very lucky if the dishonest contractor was even insured and licensed correctly. They’d even be luckier if they ever saw their money back.
Please understand this does not mean all contractors are dishonest but there are enough dishonest ones out there that make it harder to do business. When you have a contractor operating that doesn’t have insurance and/or isn’t licensed, of course they’d be able to bid much cheaper but you’re not getting the same job because you do not have that safety net should something go wrong. There are even some contractors that are licensed and insured that make grandiose claims and even go as far as putting it in writing but they take certain shortcuts such as putting down less material than what they’ve said they’d provide. All these factors make it harder for the homeowner and the honest contractors.
Fortunately for the homeowner there are ways to combat against bad actors. The county provides multiple safeguards for the homeowner but the absolute best safeguard for the homeowner is prior knowledge of the industry landscape. With prior knowledge you’ll be able to spot some of the red flags so you could avoid any of the common occurrences. Below I’ve provided a list that you should follow while hiring a contractor.
License: Confirm that they’re properly licensed for the job through the County’s Consumer Protection Bureau.
Insurance: Confirm they’re correctly insured for the work they’re performing.
History & Experience Matters: If they’ve been in business for a good amount of time they have a good work record.
Questions: You should always ask questions of any concern.
Research: Ask people you know if they’ve heard of them.
Details Matter: Any promises they make be sure to get it in writing.
Honesty, Integrity, Quality Work and Reasonable Prices
When our business first started we followed simple set of guidelines, to provide our customers with honesty, integrity, quality work and reasonable prices. When a customer entrusts us for our recommendation for some work they want done, that means a lot to us. We won’t ever compromise our good name to provide cheap, shoddy work.
We firmly believe our work and 35+ year successful history speaks for itself.
It’s very easy to provide a customer a cheaper job but it’s even harder to get your credibility back. While we understand that the cost does matter, but we also understand that honesty, integrity and quality means more.