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Author Topic: Hiring Contractors for Residential Work  (Read 454 times)

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Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Hiring Contractors for Residential Work
« on: February 18, 2015, 05:40:08 AM »
I have a question about hiring contractors for doing residential construction work - small jobs, mostly.  I was wondering if someone on E might have some advice.

It seems that every time I have hired a contractor to do work in the past, I would end up getting screwed in one way or another. Either they wanted too much up front, or they came in low and then surprised me half way through the job with all kinds of "extras" that they forgot to mention.

The last contract I wrote looked pretty solid to me, but unfortunately, I did not have a strongly worded time limit in the contract, so I ended up having my place in shambles while the contractor hunted for his next job. He was in no rush to get it done and did maybe an hours worth of work per day. Even his partner was getting pissed about the slow pace but then again, that could have been an act.

I figure that large companies probably have a way of dealing with this kind of stuff, but what about those of us who just want residential work done and can't afford to shell out money for lawyers and such? I mean if the job is say $1000 to $5000 then its not really feasible to shell out another thousand or so to hire a lawyer to write up the contract. ( I have no idea what they would actually charge, btw. )

So is there a better way of dealing with contractors?

Thanks.
Taint.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 06:50:07 PM by TaintedAndDelish »

Offline Aiden

Re: Hiring Contractors for Residential Work
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 11:16:55 AM »
Gauge the work you need done and see if you can go to the main source yourself.

Most contractors subcontract themselves, unless you are doing something major like a room addition or a total remodel.

Sadly, contractors get a shitty rep because there are a lot of bad ones out there.

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Re: Hiring Contractors for Residential Work
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 11:28:41 AM »
I've seen a couple neighbors contract with people they've checked on Angie's List ( http://www.angieslist.com/ ) and it has worked out fairly well for them.  Also, ask anyone you get an estimate from for references in your area and then give those people a call.  Go out and look at their work. 

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Re: Hiring Contractors for Residential Work
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 01:47:25 PM »
Is this construction for a residential property you own as a landlord?  What kind of construction is this?

If this is something like adding a room, kitchen, or bathroom renovation, or add on, I would recommend saving up and going with a larger company.  Not only will they be more reliable, but you're also likely to get a warranty on their work (sometimes even lifetime).  Plus, you won't have to worry about legal issues, they will already have a procedure in place, a reputation to uphold, and their own lawyers to take care of liabilities,  and you'll just have to sign.   A little extra cash can save a lot of headaches down the road.

Offline TaintedAndDelishTopic starter

Re: Hiring Contractors for Residential Work
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 04:17:23 PM »
Is this construction for a residential property you own as a landlord?  What kind of construction is this?

For residential property owned as a home owner. My reason for asking for this specifically is home owners tend to be smaller customers as compared to landlords and businesses who can offer repeat business and large jobs which are taken more seriously. For smaller jobs like building a porch or replacing a floor where the cost is fairly small, the customer seems to be at the mercy of the contractor for the most part. Again, when the job is something that takes one to three *full* days of work, the cost of doing the work might be too small to make hiring some sort of project manager feasible.