Why Price Should Not Be Your Deciding Factor When Hiring a Contractor
For the typical consumer, price dictates decisions. And while budget limitations often push you in a certain direction, price should not be the deciding factor when hiring a contractor. Finding the cheapest contractor could result in a home improvement nightmare, and may end up costing you much more in the end. Find out why price doesn’t matter as much as you thought.
Analyzing the Range in Prices
Smart consumers obtain at least three quotations. You’re likely to discover a broad range of prices within those three or four quotes. Take time to go over the details of each estimate, making sure to compare all aspects. Have the contractors noted similar details, including the scope and style of your project? Are all of them quoting from the same specs or working with similar conditions? Can you explain any major price differences right away (for example, cheaper prices with limitations or more expensive quotes covering a broader scope of work)?
Be sure that lower priced quotes have included every part of the job. Ask about the quality of building materials and find out whether or not the contractor offers fixed pricing. Extra charges can increase the final cost of your home improvement exponentially, while contractors with fixed prices offer valuable protection and peace of mind.
Understanding the Value of Expertise
Experienced contractors have been working in the industry for years, building up a list of local clientele and establishing relationships with suppliers. Creating a reputable business requires an investment, and those contractors often have higher prices when compared to newer companies. Consumers need to understand the value they receive with an experienced contractor on the job.
Experience provides better direction, and often helps to avoid small problems during construction. An expert contractor knows how to deal with situations as they arise, and can offer direction and advice on all aspects of your project. A reputable contractor must train their employees well, in order to maintain a positive reputation, and often provide rapid, reliable service for the same reasons.
All of these characteristics provide the homeowner with added value, most often more value than the extra cost associated with hiring an expert contractor.
Putting a Price on Reliability
Fly-by-night contractors may be able to offer cheap prices, but if they aren’t around to provide service when a problem arises, you’re in trouble. Imagine the added cost for hiring another contractor to repair or replace shoddy workmanship or substandard materials. In most cases and across all types of home improvement projects, an unreliable contractor is not worth the money saved.
Consider the value of a warranty. Companies with a solid reputation for service (check your local Better Business Bureau or consumer review website) provide warranty service you can rely on, but most often at a premium price. This extra investment adds value to your property now and into the future, while projects with little to no warranty coverage begin to lose value almost right away.
Price is one of the top priorities for most homeowners, and many are tempted by a cheap quotation. But hiring a contractor with the lowest price could be a major risk. Think about each aspect before making up your mind, and be sure to hire the best contractor for your home improvement project, despite cost comparisons.
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