It’s always a pleasure to talk about the great things going on in the remodeling industry but with the good comes the Bad. Most people are already aware of all the happenings with shady contractors that are well known to come in with extremely low estimates to capture the business and try to make homeowners feel great about saving piles of cash. Typically, all that saved money (on the front side) usually comes back to bite you after the job starts and Change Orders start flying around and takes the price higher than the legitimate companies that know how to quote and successfully complete a project.
This generally creates stress, bad vibes, abandoned jobs, court hearings etc… The worst part is the ones that purposely quote low are always the ones that don’t know how to do the job right anyway. In other words – getting hit with the change order will never get you the quality job in the end.
Turning the tables, there are more designers floating around the area. Now let me start off by saying, that there are a lot of great designers just like contractors… but there are shady ones too. How does this work? Simple – A designer is there to hold your hand, help you make decisions and put a project together, similar to a G.C. They make you feel comfortable because of all their “connections”. Generally a designer makes their commission off the top price of a job but you will find the best ones charge their own bill directly to the homeowner. It’s usually best to keep these things separate because it will cut down on confusion in billing procedures between the actual job and design portion.
In the last year or so of meeting homeowners and providing estimates, I’ve been getting wind of more folks that were also getting estimates with different designers and quoting to hire out a random contractor or a group of sub contractors. A few in particular were discussing the quotes from the designers and confused at why the prices kept jumping in $4,000.00 increments every meeting for the same scope of work? A typical case of someone that has no idea of what products are needed and/or jumping between contractors for job quotes that will help maximize their commission. I’ve already had to break down the cost of a designers quote to figure that the contractor involved would literally be taking a loss on a 4 week project. Or that’s just the pre change order cost.
Best advice: Keep on your toes and find a qualified company. Designers are a luxury and middle man cost. They are needed for some projects but not all. If your quotes are constantly changing in large increments before a contract is presented – take down the red flag and move on. When deciding on bathroom cost, call around to some other companies to compare notes. Look at what’s being quoted especially when it comes to the quality of the products.