From all the complaining about remodeling contractors on Yelp and Angie’s List, you’d think that all contractors are scammers and money grabbers. Actually, a vast majority of remodeling contractors are honest, competent, and diplomatic. These are a few things we would want you to know before a remodel, new build, or servicing.

We Don’t Want to Work With “Your” People

You’ve hired us for a full kitchen remodel. We are fully on-board. Then you say, “Oh, by the way, my Cousin John is a plumber, or electrician, or Tile installer, or (Insert Necessary Trade here). I would like you to use them.”

The most important asset to a remodeling contractor is our network of tradesmen. We are the facilitator at the center of a vast group of tradesmen or subcontractors. We have our go-to people as well as back-ups. Almost as important, we have a blacklist of subs we will not work with. This list in created with years of knowledge and education points of being burned or having had subpar work performed by these trades people.

By using your friend to install flooring, we would be working with someone with whom we have no established relationship. Second, we would be depriving work from a group of subs who depend on us for steady work. Third, you are doing yourself a disservice by not taking advantage of a group that we know can get the job done.

We Don’t Like Reusing Your Old Stuff

You just love those knotty pine kitchen cabinets from 1952. Vintage! You ask us to pull, refurbish, and reuse them with the remodel.

One problem with old things–cabinets in particular –is that they may hold up while in place but fall apart upon removal. Wood and Tile flooring cannot be easily removed and reused. If you do want to reuse an item, factor in the added time and cost (to you) that it will take to shop it out to a qualified professional.

We are not meanies about this; we just know that homeowners often don’t understand the implications of reusing items. Rather than being a money-saver, it can and most likely will add more cost to labor than you expect.

We Have a Greater Allegiance to Our People Than You

As a client, you are valuable to the us, not just as a source of immediate revenue but for that all-important thing called word-of-mouth.  No HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List lead or Google Ad can remotely come close to the value of positive word-of-mouth.

While that is true, it’s also true that you’re only a small relationship compared to our relationships with tradesmen.  We might know you for two months, but oftentimes we have known our Tradespeople for years–decades even.

Should you have a problem with a certain tradesman, we might go so far as to pull them from the project–only to placate you and keep the project running.  But that is a rarity.  We will always first try to smooth things over so that everyone, client included, work in harmony.

We are Not Trying to Make Extra Work

Suspicious homeowners are convinced that we underbid remodel projects, all the while planning to load up the projects with extra tasks after the contract is signed.

While some unsavory contractors may do this, it does not represent the norm.  This can be costly and disruptive to the remodeling project. Really, who wants another change order? In a perfect world, remodeling contractors would love to have all intended work itemized on the contract.  Because this is not a perfect world, change orders exist to cover those unforeseen things behind walls and under floors.

We Want You to Shop for Contractors

One thing that caters to our massive egos is when a client has said they searched the world over and called every remodeling contractor in the book and thought you were best suited for their remodeling project.

No, it’s not a vanity issue for remodeling contractors (ok maybe it is), but we don’t chuckle with false modesty and rub our nails on our shirts when you say that you looked around but chose us.  Instead, we want to know that you have settled with because we are the best fit for your project.

Our Fee Is Not Negotiable

“Ten?  Fifteen?  Twenty? Thirty Percent?  Remodeling Contractors’ markup fees are outrageous!  I’ll try to bargain down his fees to save money.”

We can be your ally in saving money and sticking to a budget. We work in concert with the client, not against.  With decades of experience, we will help identify a myriad of places where you can pare down costs.

But our markup is not one of them.  If you envision our fee as pure cream enabling us to buy all those yachts and Bentleys, know that only a fraction of that cost comes to us as personal income.  We also have a business to run, and that remaining portion pays for the business and covers costs such as Admin, Taxes, Marketing, Fuel and Operating Costs.

We Love Perfectionist Clients More Than Legal Opponents

Do you feel like you are being a pain in the rear by delivering clear, exact information to us?  Afraid to add to our “punch list” that comes at the end of the project, detailing remaining items to be done?

While no contractor likes a client who is impolite or a pain in the rear, we want to deal with requests now–before the project is finished.  Resentments that fester and turn into lawsuits help no one.  Just be civil and professional about it, and we will, too.

We Want You Out of the House

We are remodeling the entire first floor. Surely you can live on the second floor. Isn’t that why they invented hot plates? Doesn’t that bathroom counter have room for a microwave? While it is your house and we cannot tell and will not tell you to vacate your own house. But for big projects, it is best for everyone if you stay out of the way. It is a safety issue. It is a space issue.