Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
AReliableApproachToSelectingAContractorbroughttoyoubyRADCONBldrBuyeRsGuiDe ThPuruitofthBesTCONTRACTOR2 Manyhaveexperiencedorheardofthehorrorstoriesassociatedwiththehomeremodelingindustry.Theyarerampant.Weseereportsonthenewsandknowpersonallythosewhohaveexperiencednightmarehomeremodels.Theseexperi-encesarecharacterizedbypoorcommu-nicationshoddyworkmanshiplthyworkconditionsmissedprojectcompletiondatesandanendlesslistofbrokenpromises.Wehaveassembledthisguideinordertohelpyoundtherightcontractorforyoubestmatchedtomeetyourneedswantsandexpectations.Thisguidehasthepotentialtodotwogreatthings1.Weedoutthecontractorswhorefusetoperformatahighlevelofintegrityandcraftsmanship2.Restorealeveloftrustbetweenclientsandremodelersindustry-wideOurhopeistoprovideyouwithenoughinformationneededinordertomakeawell-informedandwisebuyingdecision.Itistheinsidescoopso-to-speak.Ifyouhaveanyadditionalquestionsorneedmoreclarityonaparticularsectionofthisbuyersguidepleasefeelfreetocontactusatjohnrovedoradconbuilders.com3 Mr.andMrs.Smithdecidetofndacontractortoremodeltheirhomewiththehopeofgettingthekitchenoftheirdreams.Thisisaprojectthathasbeenyearsinthemakingandislongoverdue.Thekitchenisdarkandoutdateddrawersarebrokenthereisalotofwastedspaceanditiswaytoosmallforenter-tainingtheirlargefamilyandmanyfriends.Mr.andMrs.SmitharefedupwiththeirdrabnonfunctionalkitchenitisdefnitelyTIMEtoremodelLikemostpeopleMr.andMrs.Smithcontact23contractorsandcollectestimatestoremodeltheirkitchen.DuringeachappointmenttheymaylookatsomephotosofthecontractorspastprojectsandaskquestionslikeHowlonghaveyoubeeninbusinessorHowsooncanyoustartThentheycomparetheestimatesandmaketheirdecision.Theymightfeelliketheyhavedonetheirhomework.AfterallthetypicalhomeownerhasbeenadvisedtoCollecttwotothreefreeestimatescomparepricesandhirethecontractorwhoisntthecheapestorthemostexpen-sive.Seemslogi-cal.OrdoesitWhataretherisksofaninsufcientselectionprocessIfahomeownerdoesnotasktherightquestionswheninterviewingacontractorthepotentialforhavingabadexperienceisverylikely.Thefactistheremodelingindustryisanyeasyentryindustry.Apersoncanhavelittletonoexperiencetojumprightin.Allittakesisatruckandahandfuloftoolsandprestoyourearemodeler.Ifahomeownerdoesnotasktherightquestionswheninterviewingacontractorthepotentialforhavingabadexperienceisverylikely.TypicalMethodThe4 WheredohomeownersgowrongMostpeoplebelievetheadvicethatyoushouldcollectthreefreeestimatesorbids.Thisisananti-quatedmethodforselectingacontractor.Weliveinadierentculturetoday.Peopledonothavethetimetobeinconveniencedlongerthantheyshouldorhavetocorrectworkthatshouldhavebeendonerightthefrsttime.Byusingthethreebidselectionprocessonetypicallybasestheirdecisiononcost.TheresultsofthiscanleadtoacatastropheinyourhomeApplestoapplescomparisonWhyisthiswrongMosthomeownersmaketheirdecisionbasedoncomparingestimates.Itsnotthatthisiswrongitsjustextremelyhardifnotimpossibletodo.Theproblemwiththisisthatthereisnoindustrystandardforestimatingaprojectandallcontractorsoerdierentlevelsofservice.Plusthereisnotonecompanyalike.Inadditiontothisthetypicalfreeestimateisbasedonaonetotwohourvisittothehomeandatonofincompleteinformationcausingahorriblyinaccuratebid.Overallitisimpossibletodoatrueapplestoapplescomparison.SowhycompareestimatesatallHowshouldcontractorsbecomparedWerecommendgettingballparkpricerangesoraverageprojectcostsfromacontractortomakesuretheyftyourdesiredinvest-mentcriteria.Theninterviewthecontractorbasedontheirlevelofservice.Yourprojectcostwillbedierentfromanyotherprojecttotalbecauseyourprojectisdierentthananyotherproject.Soaslongasthecontractorissomewhereinyourpricerangespendtimeinterviewingthecontractorhimself.Afterallyouwillbespendingthenextseveralweeksandmonthsworkingwiththisindividualorcompany.Itwouldbebesttomakesurethattheymeetyourexpectationsandthatthetwoofyouareabletoclearlycommunicate.5 Thereisalong-standingexpectationinthisindustrythatallcontractorsshouldgivefreeestimates.Asaresultlittleworkactuallygoesintotheinitialestimate.Hereinliestheproblem.Somecon-tractorsguessanestimateormakealowbidtogettheirfootinthedoor.Asaresulttheconsumerchoosesthelowestimatebecauseheorshetruststhatthecontractoractuallyputalotoftimeandenergyintoquotingtheirproject.ButistheestimatereallyfreeSeriouslywhoworksforfreeIdontknowtoomanypeoplewhoarewillingtoproducequalityproductsfornocost.Thefactispeopledontworkforfreeespe-ciallybusinessowners.Iftheydotheytypicallyarentinbusinessforlong.Someonewilleventuallypayforthatfreeestimateinonewayoranother.Whetheritistheoneoutoftenhomeownersthatacceptanestimateandstartaprojectorthecontractorwhogoesoutofbusinessbecausehedidntchargeforhistime.Someoneendsuppayingforthefreecost.Inmostcasesitisbuiltintothesellingpriceoftheproject.Sofreeformanyispaidforbyafew.Worstcaseandthemostcommonscenarioisthatthepricewepayforafreeestimateisapoorlyplannedinaccuratelypricedmessofaprojectwhichresultsindisappointmentandsometimesthehomeownerhavingtohireasecondcontractortocorrectwhatshouldhavebeendonerightthersttime.6COLLeCTiNGBiDsORFREEESTIMATESsomonwllvntuallypayforthatfrtmatnonwayoranothr Sowhenexaminedmorecloselycollectingthefreeestimateisnotthebestapproachtohiringyourcontractor.Wefeelthatmostcontractorshavegoodheartsandactuallycareaboutpeopleandtheirproduct.Butagainitisveryeasytostartaremodelingbusinessandtherearenotmanystandardssetinourindustryonhowtorunaremodelingbusiness.Soeachcontractordoesithisorherownway.Weknowthisfromexperience.Manyskilledcraftsmenenjoyworkingwiththeirhandsandgettothepointwheretheydecidetostarttheirownpracticeoutoftheirloveforthetrade.Aftertenyearstheirpracticehasevolvedintoabusinessandtheyfndthemselvesstuckinabusinesspositionwithoutbusinessknowledgeorexperience.Asaresultbusinesserrorsaremadecornersarecutandtheyhavefewornosystemsandprocesses.Sadlytherearemanyhomeremodelingcompaniesthatftthisprofle.7 Thebiggestcauseoffailureisincorrectlypricedprojects.Whetherduetoalackofexperienceoraneorttoattractmorebusinessincorrectlowballpricingwilldrivearemodelingcompanyoutofbusinessquickerthananything.Forahomeownerwhenaqualityorwarrantyissuearisesthereisnownoonetoturnto.Thehomeownermustthenpayanewcontractortocomeinandfxwhattheyhavealreadypaidfor.Noonewinsinthissituation.1n10RemodelingcompaniestanbnformorthantnarBANKRUPTBANKRUPTLawsuitLowBalledFailedBadReputationCutCornersMisManagedunforeseenCostONLy8HiGHRisKOFFAiLuRe BigHeartsMayabsorbthecostofgrayareasDonotchargeenoughforoverheadcostsUnforeseencostsareprobablynotinvoicedMostlikelydowonderfulworkbutoftenover-commitsBadReputationsPriceprojectslowtogetthesaleknowingthatthepricewillchangelaterSpendlittletimeonestimatesTallyupchangeordersastheprojectisunderwayHasthereputationofsayingonepricebutintheendalwayschargemoreVanishingActWorsttypeofthethreeDontchargeenoughtorealisticallygetthejobdoneCutcornersoftenperformingillegalworkVanishwiththedepositWehavebrokenthesecompaniesdownintothreetypes9 Itiscrucialthatthecontractorisreputableandcanprovetoyouthathewillhonorthepromisesheismakingtoyouupfront.AskngTheRghtQestonsupfrontOeratleasta1yearwrittenwarrantyRespondtowarrantycallsimmediatelyWhatistheprocessfordoingsoHaveaguaranteedpriceusingaxedamountcontract.Isthisa1-2pageagreementorathoroughdetailedcontractcoveringwhatisincludedandmoreimpor-tantlywhatisNOTincludedintheprojectProvideanupfrontproductionscheduleatcontractsigningsothatyouknowwhatwillhappeneachdaythroughoutthedurationofyourprojectHavewrittenagreementswithemployeesandtradecontractorstoensureperformanceInstituteaPreContractMeetingforeachprojecttoensurethateveryonethatisinvolvedintheproductionphaseoftheprojectisfamiliarwiththedetailsconsequentlyeliminatingsurprisesandpossiblechangeordersClentsThreeBggestFearsMichaelC.Stone20071.Wlltheydothejobiwantthemtodo2.Wlltheydothejobatafairprice3.WlltheydothejobnatimelymannerWheninterviewingacontractoraskDoesthecontractor10 HavealistofoutstandingreferencesthatyoumaycontactonyourownAcquirepermitsanduselicensedtradeandmechanicalcontrac-torse.g.PlumberelectricianHavealicenseandcertiedstaforperformingRRPLeadrenova-tionrequiredbytheEPAonallhomes1978andolderPracticeclearcommunicationinatimelymannerconsistentwithtodaystechnologyHavealicenseandbondasrequiredinyourcityHavewrittentestimonialsfrompastclientsShowclearandwelldonephotosofpastprojectsPossessatleast1milliondollarsinliabilityinsurancecoverageandrequirethatalltradecontrac-torspossessthesameinadditiontotheirownworkmanscompensationHaveacleanreputationontheinterneti.e.GooglethecompanynameOeruniqueandattractivedesignsHaveadetailedsystemspro-cessestocarryyouthroughthesalestodesigntoproductionphasesofaprojectHaveanideaofhowlongtheprojectwilltaketocompleteandalsohowlongthedesignandplanningphaseswilltakeHaveabidthatisextremelylowWhySeemtrustworthyandreliableDoesheorsheputyouateaseCommunicatewellwithyouincludinglisteningHaveaplanforhowheorshewillrespectyourhomeandyourfamilyHavetheirocelocatednearyouThefurtherawayacontractoristheharderitistoproperlyserviceyouandgiveyoutheattentionyoudeserve.11 TrustyourinstinctsMostimportantlyyouhavetofeelthatthecontractorisrightforyou.Youhavetodetermineifthecontractorwillmeetyourexpectations.Ifyougetabadfeelinginvestthetimeneededtomakesuretheyarethecontractorforyou.Thediferenceinpricebetweendiferentcontractorsequalsthevalueyoureceiveortheexperiencethatyouwillhave.WhyistheresuchadierenceinpricebetweenthecontractorsyouareinterviewingContractorsallpayaboutthesamelaborratesgetmaterialsfrombasicallythesamehandfulofsuppliersandpaythesamefeesforspecialtytrades.SowhatisthedierenceincostWebelieveitisthevalueyouaregoingtoreceivewhenyouhirethatcompany.ExampleCompanyAisaonemanoperationwithlittleornoinsuranceworksforwagesnevermentionsawarrantyhanddrawsakitchendesignonanapkinpayshishelperscashunderthetableusesthecheapesttradecon-tractorsoutthereandhasaonepageagreement.HispriceforMr.andMrs.Smithskitchenis40lessthanCompanyB.CompanyBisheavilyinsuredchargestherightamounttoensurethattheyareinbusiness10yearsfromnowshouldwarrantyissuesariseoersawritten5yearwarrantyuses3-Dcomputerdesignsoft-warepaystheiremployeesbetterthanmostwithgreatbeneftsusestoprungtradecontractorswhoalsowarrantytheirworkandhasaclearandthoroughcontract.Whichcompanyoffersthebestvalue12 13Asabuyeryouhavemanyneedswantsandexpectations.Inthesamewayeachcontractoroerstheirownwayofcompletingaprojectandmeetingtheirclientsneeds.Itisveryimportanttondtheperfecttforyou.Wehopethatthisguideenablesyoutondthatcontractorandbeginalifelongrelationshipwiththatcompanyasyoutransformyourhome.Wewishyouthebestasyoubeginyourjourney 14ContractorComparison1.2.3.NameNameNameEstimaterangetoEstimaterangetoEstimaterangetoCompletionTimeCompletionTimeCompletionTimeIslicensedinsuredandhasagreatreputationYesNoHasatleasta1yearwrittenwarrantyYesNoHowdotheyrankamongtheothertwocontractors1st2nd3rdIslicensedinsuredandhasagreatreputationYesNoHasatleasta1yearwrittenwarrantyYesNoHowdotheyrankamongtheothertwocontractors1st2nd3rdIslicensedinsuredandhasagreatreputationYesNoHasatleasta1yearwrittenwarrantyYesNoHowdotheyrankamongtheothertwocontractors1st2nd3rdAmIcomfortablewiththecompanyprocessYesNoHasalistofoutstandingreferencesYesNoSeemstrustworthyandreliableYesNoAmIcomfortablewiththecompanyprocessYesNoHasalistofoutstandingreferencesYesNoSeemstrustworthyandreliableYesNoAmIcomfortablewiththecompanyprocessYesNoHasalistofoutstandingreferencesYesNoSeemstrustworthyandreliableYesNo Notes15 bus.408-268-6547fax408-268-6721cell408-464-4685www.radconbuilders.comwww.radcon.houzz.com21498AlmadenRd.SanJoseCA95120REMODELADDITIONSDESIGNRADCON