Payments To Contractors
Payments to Contractors
Anxiety is a very common emotion felt by people who are about to begin a massive building or remodeling project. Huge sums of money are often in the balance. 15 or 20 year mortgages are signed. It is serious business. It is no wonder that people get nervous or anxious. Unfortunately, not everyone invests the proper amount of time in selecting the right contractor for the job. A homeowner may select a real bottom feeder. Believe me, there is one in every "sea".
Boilerplate Laundry List
Every year, I see an article in a paper about how to choose a contractor. I see the same old checklist each time. You know, the one that says to call the Better Business Bureau, ask for references, visit completed jobs, etc. Only a small percentage of people ever do these things. Guess what? You can do those things, get good reports, and still end up with an unqualified contractor. The process of finding a good contractor is involved, takes effort on your part, and sometimes is a function of pure luck.
The Root of the Problem
There are probably several basic reasons why you have such a hard time finding a reputable, reliable, trustworthy contractor. The one that I feel is foremost is the fact the industry, as a whole, does not require a formal education. In other words, you and your neighbor can go into business tomorrow hanging drywall or finishing concrete. Not only have you probably never read a technical manual on all the aspects of these tasks, there is a better than 50/50 chance the contractor you do intend to hire has read anything. The industry is loaded to the gills with people who "think" they know how to do things right. Very few contractors have a solid background based upon written facts developed by manufacturers, associations, and the industry as a whole. This means you need to get educated about the work you plan to do. Armed with this education you will be able to ask pointed questions to contractors. By default you will find the one who has the best understanding of what to do.
Do you know someone who has had a contractor disappear and not come back to finish a job? Do you think that would happen if the contractor was owed a significant amount of money? In most instances the contractor has actually walked away with extra money!
Homeowners routinely advance more money to contractors than they should. The result is that the homeowner has become a lending institution. The homeowner lends money to the contractor and HOPES that the contractor will PAY BACK the money in the form of work. What a mistake! Don't get into the lending business.
Job Cost Breakdowns
12 years ago, I stumbled across a very unique way to convince homeowners that my job bid or quotation was, in fact, the right price. I started giving homeowners a complete breakdown of my quotation. The quote showed each and every aspect of the job. The homeowner was able to see that I accounted for each aspect of the job and had attached a realistic number to each task. It didn't take long for me to build a bridge of trust with homeowners. I discovered that trust is the foundation for a buying decision. I hope you find a contractor you can trust.
The following job cost breakdown items were taken from some of the over 30 different Checklists I have developed. The Checklists contain questions about a specific project. They also ask for a cost breakdown. If you want to see a complete list, check out my Checklists page.
Kitchen Remodeling Checklist Breakdown Items
Building Permit Demolition Asbestos Removal Lead Abatement Debris Removal Dumpster or Dumping Fees Rough Lumber Supplies Rough Carpentry Heating / Ventilating / Air Conditioning Plumbing Electric Phone / Computer / Cable TV Wiring Insulation Drywall / Plastering Finish Lumber Materials Finish Carpentry Ceramic / Marble Painting Wall Coverings Kitchen Cabinets Counter Tops Appliances Sinks Faucets Hardwood Flooring / Linoleum Lighting Fixtures / Fans Windows Doors Shelving Hardware Miscellaneous Allowance Items Contractor's Projected Profit
New Home Construction Checklist Breakdown Items
Building Permit Builder's Risk Insurance Policy Survey / Stakeout Site Clearing Excavation Footings / Foundation Foundation Waterproofing Footing Drain Tile & 1" Gravel Cover Downspout Drainage System Termite Control Structural Steel Rough Grading Excess Excavated Dirt Off-site Removal Gravel Interior Concrete Slabs (Basement & Garage) Rough Lumber Materials Rough Carpentry Backhoe Work Roofing Heating / Ventilating / Air Conditioning Plumbing Electric Phone / Computer / Cable TV Wiring Security / Fire Alarm Wiring Insulation Drywall / Plastering Windows Exterior Doors Exterior Lumber Materials Exterior Carpentry Masonry (Brickwork, Stonework, etc.) Stucco Vinyl Siding / Trim Gutters / Downspouts Exterior Painting / Staining Exterior Sidewalks / Patios Interior Trim Lumber Materials Interior Doors Built-in Cabinetry Interior Painting Wall Coverings Hardwood Flooring Carpeting Linoleum / Vinyl Tile Ceramic Tile Kitchen Cabinets Bath Cabinets Kitchen Counter Tops Bath Counter Tops Laundry Room Cabinets & Tops Appliances Plumbing Fixtures (China fixtures, tubs, sinks & faucets) Lighting Fixtures / Fans Mirrors Hardware Miscellaneous Fixtures (Towel Bars, etc.) Specialty Shelving Miscellaneous Allowance Items Garage Doors & Openers Driveway Apron (if applicable) Driveway Final Grading Landscaping Debris Removal / Dumpster Fees Construction Utilities (electricity & water) On site toilet facilities Final Cleaning
SUBTOTAL HARD JOB COSTS Contractor's Projected Profit / Overhead
TOTAL JOB COST = $ Fill in the Blank! I hope your project comes in on time and under budget.