DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   General DIY Discussions (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/)
-   -   Home Improvement/Remodeling Contractor Website Possibility? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/home-improvement-remodeling-contractor-website-possibility-1468/)

newigal 12-15-2005 02:53 PM

Home Improvement/Remodeling Contractor Website Possibility?
 
Good day all,

I'm exploring the possibility of developing a website devoted to home improvement/home remodeling contractor information. In thinking about it, I came up with the questions below, because I'm wondering if they're of primary importance. I appreciate everybody who takes the time to answer.

1. When you decide to start a home improvement project, do you conduct research first to understand what the job's all about, as far as materials, process/procedure, and manufacturer warranties?

2. Or do you start your home improvement project in another way? If so, what is it?

3. How do you find a reputable, qualified contractor? Do you use the phone book first, or do you ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?

4. Do you ever go to your local home improvement store and ask the staff if they know of good contractors?

5. Once you have a few names, do you conduct any research to see if those companies have consumer fraud complaints filed against them? What are some of the places you search for this information?

6. If you're contemplating a home improvement project, and you've decided you're going to contract it out, vs. you do the work yourself, how many proposals or bids do you gather?

7. What's the biggest factor, in your mind, for making the final decision to select a home improvement contractor?

Thanks so much. I'm merely in the exploratory phase right now.

All the best,

Nancy

CGofMP 12-15-2005 08:59 PM

1. When you decide to start a home improvement project, do you conduct research first to understand what the job's all about, as far as materials, process/procedure, and manufacturer warranties?

I do research every time unless it is something simple and obvious like replacing fence boards. Even then, learning which screws are best and determining which wood was used in order to match I guess counts as research. However, with anyhting big YES reasearch is critical. It keeps me from getting in over my DIY head and may help to mitigate me getting ripped off or buying shoddy or faulty amterials if I am going to DIY.



2. Or do you start your home improvement project in another way? If so, what is it?

There are rare instances where I just start and kinda learn as I go. Usually this is when we are doing somethign creative like decor, painting murals, or making "themed" bedrooms. It's kind of a creation on the fly.


3. How do you find a reputable, qualified contractor? Do you use the phone book first, or do you ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?

I have found no good and simple way to do this. The phone book helps, askign neighbors helps, asked a realtor once and that actually was a GOOD reccomendation surprisingly, but this I must admit is a tough thing to do competently.


4. Do you ever go to your local home improvement store and ask the staff if they know of good contractors?

People making minimum wage, their last job being at Burger King are hardly qualified to make suggestions. I want quality work.

5. Once you have a few names, do you conduct any research to see if those companies have consumer fraud complaints filed against them? What are some of the places you search for this information?

Have not checked for fraud, would nto know how to do that. I look them up o the BBB site, I also do google searches with keywords like COMPANY X +sucks or +ripoff or +bad etc to see if anyone has written something poor about them. I check references, but that too is iffy as they wont give me names of people that hated them. I would try to visit a current jobsite if I was given that info.


6. If you're contemplating a home improvement project, and you've decided you're going to contract it out, vs. you do the work yourself, how many proposals or bids do you gather?

Depends on the project and if I have had similar work done before. I'd hire back the guy that put in our tub and tile again with few other bids if any.... If I was doing a roof I'd get a minimum of three if not more. If it was for something that did not cost more than a couple hundred (say an appliance instalation) I'd go with two plus a couple phonecalls.

7. What's the biggest factor, in your mind, for making the final decision to select a home improvement contractor?

Quality. If I can not do it myself, then I want to find someone that would do it to my level of perfectionism if I had the skills to do it (which I don't cause I am contracting it out ....) I would also be looking for a good fair price, but I really want to find someone that will communicate well with me, do work that will LAST and be properly built. I like contractors that over-build or over-engineer and care about precision.

I guess that actually my FIRST concern would be to make sure that the guy is liscenced and insured for liability as well as injury for homself and his crew. No way am I losing my home because some idiot cuts off his own fingers and sues ME for the pleasure of allowing him to do it while paying him to work on my property.

Another big consideration is SAFETY. Most likely I am hiring out Gas, Electrical, In the wall plumbing or roofing. Most of the rest I might take a crack at. All of the above have very significant safety hazard issues. I'd want to make sure that the person was going to protect himself as well as my property and would KNOW wtf he was doing. One wrong move with gas for instance and everyone gets to explain to St. Peter why they are standing there at Heaven's Gate

newigal 12-17-2005 06:16 AM

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply...I'm looking forward to hearing some others thoughts and experiences.

All the best,

Nancy

joeronimo 12-26-2005 04:52 AM

Tips!
 
When using contractors, two very if not most important things ...you generally get what you pay for, and always, always ask for referals from past customers.

Darylh 01-02-2006 11:05 AM

Hi I have just joined this forum and hope I can help looks like a great place to come. I have been in Home Improvement for over 30 years and my answers are based on my observations and are what I would do and have done over the years.
1. When you decide to start a home improvement project, do you conduct research first to understand what the job's all about, as far as materials, process/procedure, and manufacturer warranties?
Should be Number 1 on your list

2. Or do you start your home improvement project in another way? If so, what is it?
I think number 1 sums it up

3. How do you find a reputable, qualified contractor? Do you use the phone book first, or do you ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?
I would look in the yellow pages, and talk with nabours.

4. Do you ever go to your local home improvement store and ask the staff if they know of good contractors?
I have personly been reffered from my local Home Center, talk with the manager of the store.

5. Once you have a few names, do you conduct any research to see if those companies have consumer fraud complaints filed against them? What are some of the places you search for this information?
Yes The BBB is about the best place to look.

6. If you're contemplating a home improvement project, and you've decided you're going to contract it out, vs. you do the work yourself, how many proposals or bids do you gather?
At least 2. 1 recent and one at least 2 years ago. This will tell you if there work holds up or not.

7. What's the biggest factor, in your mind, for making the final decision to select a home improvement contractor?
I would think that Quality of his work, promtness of getting the work done,and a good personality so you will get along. I think one very important issue of Hiring a contractor is that you feel comfortible with him.
Hope this helps.



powrus 01-03-2006 02:04 PM

Nancy - Another 2 cents worth from a long time do-it-yourselfer, using past experience as a reference.

When you decide to start a home improvement project, do you conduct research first to understand what the job's all about, as far as materials, process/procedure, and manufacturer warranties?
Always try to find as much info as possible regarding the job in question prior to hiring a contractor. The Internet has become your best friend!

How do you find a reputable, qualified contractor? Do you use the phone book first, or do you ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?
Forget the phone book, IMHO. Get a list of prospective contractors from your local hardware store, Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's, etc. etc. Probably do not use the list you just acquired as the final word. Businesses may like someone based upon different criteria than yours. Contact each name on your new list, and then ask him/her for past work references ... people you can actually talk to and discuss work practices and satisfaction guarantees. Questionable workers will be reluctant to have this info readily available for you. Reliable workers will have the list already in your hands.

If you're contemplating a home improvement project, and you've decided you're going to contract it out, vs. you do the work yourself, how many proposals or bids do you gather?
As many as you can reasonably gather. This may be a bit extreme for most, but due to age and my reluctance to scamper around on the semi-steep roof of my home, I recently interviewed 14 contractors for a re-roof job. I settled upon a person willing to provide a list of former clients and who was well established in my locale. Price was the secondary consideration.

In the end, it all comes down to your research. Scrutiny is good, but scrutiny takes time and effort. Unfortunately, the number of unreliable and inefficient contractors FAR exceeds the other.

Hope this helps,
Roger



slickshift 01-03-2006 09:38 PM

Boy, at least Staples gives me a chance at a prize for doing market research for them
;)
But I'll bite....
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
1. When you decide to start a home improvement project, do you conduct research first to understand what the job's all about, as far as materials, process/procedure, and manufacturer warranties?

Not really
I don't start a home improvement project on my own home unless I'm familiar with those
If I am hiring a contractor, I may have a slight professional curiosity, but conduct research?
No
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
2. Or do you start your home improvement project in another way? If so, what is it?

If it's something I'm not familiar with, I'll check in with someone who is
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
3. How do you find a reputable, qualified contractor? Do you use the phone book first, or do you ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers?

Ask friends, family, and co-workers
Either that or ask friends, family, and co-workers
If that fails I ask friends, family, and co-workers
And I usually recommend to others that they ask friends, family, and co-workers
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
4. Do you ever go to your local home improvement store and ask the staff if they know of good contractors?

I don't ask anyone at my local home improvement store anything
I try not to even look them in the eye
Those people are complete idiots
I could spend the whole day following them around and correcting the horrible advice they give people
...I should say most of them, there are some good ones
It's just there's waaaaaaaaayyyyy to many bad ones
As a Home Improvement chain is the exclusive supplier of some products I install, I have to deal with them
(BTW, I am an authorized dealer of the product line, but the chain got a lock on some of the key products in the line, so I have to buy those specific pieces from the chain)
When I need to do this, I call a guy at a store that's Out Of State and drive there to get the pieces
He's the only guy in this chain (within driving distance) that knows what's going on, can take my special order, can order what I want, and tell me really when it will be there
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
5. Once you have a few names, do you conduct any research to see if those companies have consumer fraud complaints filed against them? What are some of the places you search for this information?

Not usually, as I usually get them referred by friends, family, and co-workers, that's rarely an issue
I may look up the license #
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
6. If you're contemplating a home improvement project, and you've decided you're going to contract it out, vs. you do the work yourself, how many proposals or bids do you gather?

I recommend at least three, but sometimes I don't follow my own advice
Quote:

Originally Posted by newigal
7. What's the biggest factor, in your mind, for making the final decision to select a home improvement contractor?

One or more referrals is hard to beat
Short of that, does the contractor show up when he says, show the credentials I ask for, answer my questions w/o trying to impress me with trade talk, and return my calls in a timely manner?

If the contractor was referred to me, but failed the rest of the list, I would not consider them


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:48 PM.


Copyright 2003-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved