Negotiation vs. Bidding...and the 18 Key Questions to ask!
Very often, customers believe the first step in getting a project done is to get “bids” for the job... and are often told to get three bids. Although that sounds like it should work, it does not.
Not All Contractors are Created Equal
BEWARE of "The Lowest Bidder": this often comes to you as an unkept, uninsured, unlicensed ‘contractor’ who works from the back of an unmarked pick-up truck and leaves a trail of dirt, grime and shoddy work behind them. This "Lowest Bidder" may cut corners, use inferior materials and produce projects that lack quality. Worst still, they may not be getting the building permit(s) needed.
Negotiation is an instrument we can use to satisfy a client’s needs and abilities. Because HandyWorks Remodeling and Design in Wallingford CT is privately owned and operated, we can negotiate services with you.
Knowledge is a Necessary Tool
Usually, the customer does not have enough knowledge about procedures, codes, terminology, current methods, etc. to make sound decisions. He/she must rely upon the skills and honesty of the contractor.
Here at HandyWorks Remodeling, educating the consumer is another part of our process. We happily give explanations, answer questions and help our clients make informed decisions.
Now, here are the 18 Key Questions to ask ANY contractor:
- 1. "How long have you been in business?"
- 2. "Are you licensed and insured?"
- 3. "Are you a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau?"
- 4. "Will we need a permit for this job?"
- 5. "Can I speak to a recent client?"
- 6. "What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?"
Questions to ask their previous clients:
- 7. "Could you reach the contractor when you needed to?"
- 8. "Were you pleased with the quality of work?"
- 9. "Did the crew show-up on-time, and was the job completed as scheduled?"
- 10. "Did the contractor stay within the budget?"
- 11. "Did the contractor seem interested in the outcome of the project?"
- 12. "Would you use the contractor again?"
It is better to avoid a contractor who...
- 13. ..is not accessible, doesn’t answer your call, or doesn't return your call in a timely fashion?
- 14. ...does not listen to your needs?
- 15. ...gives vague or partial answers?
- 16. ...requests “cash only”?
- 17. ...provides “special discounts if you sign today"?
- 18. ...is not a member in “good standing” with the Better Business Bureau or local Chamber of Commerce?
LEARN MORE on this subject. Related articles, all written by Keith Santora, president of Handyworks Remodeling and Design in Wallingford, CT:
ARTICLES with additional information include these...
> "Finding the Right Remodeler? Easy as ABC!" (part one in a series): Read here.
> "Remodeling your home? Remodel your approach." (part two in a series): Read here.
> "Remodeling? Talk to YOURSELF, first": Read here.
> "A remodeler's REFERENCES & REPUTATION: Check BOTH before you hire": Read here.
> "Is the BEST price the RIGHT price? Probably not!": Read here.