Hey, if you’re a San Diego homeowner and wondering what questions you should ask or not ask, check out these eight hot buttons that you'd be better off avoiding.
1. Never Say "I'm Talking To Five or Six Contractors"
Dead give-away that you're either kicking tires or just surveying professionals to get oriented in your local market.
There's nothing wrong with checking things out...BUT...if you want accurate estimates, each estimate will take time and a lot of collaboration. If the contractor gets the sense that you're doing research and not ready to buy, he'll find a way to bail.
What you should say: Share that you are either doing research to get general ballpark ranges, or that you're serious about selecting the right person and collaborating with them to get a detailed line item estimate.
2. Never Say "I Just Need A Material Installer"
I'm sure your heart is in the right place (Bless your heart!) but it's insulting to lump general contractors into the same group with a material installer. Here is what she's thinking when you tell her you have your materials and you just need labor costs for installation.
"Call a handyman."
"You don't need a GC apparently...you are acting like your own GC."
"Good luck if you need a permit"
"Have fun with finding qualified tradesman if you need a subcontractor or specialty material"
"So you're planning to have no snags or problems throughout your project?"
What you should say: Ask if you have called the right firm. Is this a general contractor? Is this a design-build firm that's a one-stop shop? Do you have a service labor department? Here is my scope; what type of firm would you recommend?
3. Never Say "I Need To See All The Pricing Options"
Quality estimates take time and different materials have different installation styles/types, and different labor costs. Most of your questions can be answered in conversations and design options should be considered. However, the options available to you range from the dozens into the thousands. It is unwise for the contractor to begin estimating with no information from you to serve as his direction.
Work from the macro to the micro and make the big decisions first. For example: choose your kitchen style and layout first (macro), and then look at, for example, all the design and selection options for your cabinets (micro).
Don't Say: "I'd like to see three different pricing options for my kitchen, please."
Do Say: "I'm shooting to keep the kitchen between $XY,000 and $XYZ,000 and here is a list of what I know I want, and what I'm not sure about."
4. Never Say "Cost Is Really The Biggest Factor"
If cost is the biggest factor, you are putting yourself in a loosing position. As a friend, he might help you out and give you an "estimate" or "bid" but it will not reflect the level of effort and thoroughness that you'd like. It will simply reflect what you told him mattered; a number.
Shift your mindset with the following questions:
"What makes a remodel as painless as possible?"
"What makes some families trust their contractor with multiple projects, in multiple homes, over multiple years?"
"What type of firm is most compatible with my project and what systems make them most compatible?"
"What are my assumptions and expectations regarding communication, my experience of my project, etc."
"If I get what I pay for, will I be happy with the product if select mostly based on price?"
Take It From Our Happy Customers
"Kevin had the work done as if it were his own house and the project was completed before the contractual completion date." - Jack B., San Diego, CA
“This is our second remodel with Kevin. Once again, done on TIME! Great job! Just sorry we’re out of bathrooms! 🙂 He’s on speed dial in case we have another project.” - Gary G., Encinitas
“Kevin told me to allow 25 days and it was done in just over two weeks.” - Gina H., San Diego, CA
Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!
5. Never Say "We Need This Done Next Week or Next Month"
Remodeling takes time and usually more time than you think it will. Heck, for most contractors, it takes longer than they think it will.
First, you've got to interview and select contractors. Then you've got to go through design & selections followed by building an accurate estimate, signing your contract, ordering product, and then you can begin after your materials have been delivered. Material ETA's are not the contractors responsibility, be it credit or fault.
We'd recommend cooling down your expectations; a lot of good contractors are lost because a client flies off the handle about how "long everything takes" when in reality, the owner should have started their process much sooner. Ask about timeline before the first day of demo.
6. Never Say "We Don't Have A Budget"
This is for a different reason than you'd think. Most think it is because you don't want the contractors to take advantage and build an astronomical estimate, just hoping you're a sucker. In reality most families that say "We don't have a budget" mean that they don't know how much things cost in general, so they aren't there yet.
Solution: understand that there are two separate categories of "estimates". It's impossible to give you a price, but it might be possible to give you a general ballpark range based on their experience.
Each project is different, but aside from the costs associated with your remodel, you'll need to know that you won't spend more than $20,000, more than $50,000, or more than $160,000. There may be flexibility, but you still need to have an accurate understanding of your budget for yourself.
7. Never Say "We Want You To Use My Brother"
You may know a few tradesman, your brother may be a plumber, and you may have grown up around construction because your dad was a contractor. Please keep this experience separate from your project.
Every contractor will have established relationships with his tradesman and crews. The efficient cost and timeline you desire will come from trusting one ecosystem to produce results, not from breaking your project apart to avoid paying markup.
Find someone that you can trust. Then deploy your trust.
8. Never Say "Can You Provide A Discount For Early Payment?"
This goes against the law and common sense.
By law in the state of California, a contractor may not invoice you for labor or materials not yet delivered. Their payment schedule will reflect this.
By common sense, you want peace of mind and paying someone in advance to get peace of mind from a discount, actually discounts the peace of mind you will get from paying at regular installments as the project meets benchmarks.
Why choose Teknik for Your Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel?
For over twenty years we've been helping families to walk through the remodeling mine field safely. The most common three mines that families hit are:
Call today for your free consultation!
Step 1: Dream Design
We’ll collaborate with you to transform your dark and outdated space into bright and inviting space. It all starts with your free consultation so book now!
Step 2: True Quote
You can trust our service agreement! We get to know your home intimately before working on it to ensure we stick to budget with no change orders.
Step 3: Complete On-Time
We'll make your dream come true and do it on-time and on budget! Then it's party time! Perhaps leave out your friends who get jealous easily.
Call (888) 747-2013 or click here for a free consultation now!