Home addition, need a contractor (1 Viewer)

PennStateSaint

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We're about to do an addition on our house and we want to get some estimates from some contractors, I thought i would ask here if anyone knew of some good ones to narrow down our search, or if you know of some bad ones to stay away from.
 

Rugger

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We're about to do an addition on our house and we want to get some estimates from some contractors, I thought i would ask here if anyone knew of some good ones to narrow down our search, or if you know of some bad ones to stay away from.


I used to work under some contractors while I was in grad school. I also helped set up repairs/maintenance and updates to my parents rental properties, so I can give you some tips.

1) These guys work in sales. They are trying to land the job. They are going to be friendly and promise to be the best contractor in town. They are hustlers.

2) I am prepping you with #1 and #2 because while they are working on your job they are already looking for the next job. If they don't work they don't eat, so they are always looking to line up something else.

3) The biggest issue that most people come across is that they will show up and work everyday for the first couple of weeks and then start showing up less and less. Chances are they are trying to work (at least) two jobs at a time. For some reason they get 90% done and you do not see them again.

4) DO NOT PAY THEM IN FULL UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETELY DONE and make sure to clear on that from day one. A lot of them have a sad story. They hustle for a living. Paying the balance when they are not done happened to people I knew in the NOLA area all the time and it just happened to a friend of mine in Vegas. I am not saying they are all bad, enough of them have hustled there way into full pay without a complete job.

5) Keep in mind that it a business. Although you are going to spend a lot of time with them because they are going to be working at your house bottom line is they are there to do a job. You may not see the contractor everyday, but the workers are another story. The vast majority of workers that I have met (and yes I was one of them for a couple of years) are some kind of addict. There is a reason that they work hard labor for cash job. They are either addicted to drug/s, alcohol, or church, and in some cases a combination of the three.


Again not all contractors practice this type of business, but I have come across a couple that were standup and reliable, but there are enough out there for you to have to get some street smarts when dealing with them.

1) Make sure you are very detailed in what you want done. Do not add a bunch of work onto the job. They hate it and you will pay for it. That is one of the first things that comes up when they start slacking and you call them on it.

2) Get as much details in the estimate as possible. It may seem like a pain in the butt for them, but you have to protect your self.

3) Always get more than one estimate and make sure you tell them you are doing that up front. It lets them know that you are business savvy.

4) Make sure you tell them that you are going to do a through walk through before final payment and get in writing that they guarantee their work.

5) STAY ON THEM. It isn't a good idea to watch them work because no one likes that, but check their progress everyday and note mistakes and bring it to their attention immediately. You have to live in the house after they leave, so make sure it is done the way you agreed to it before they started. If they start showing up less and less there is a contractors board. They can get heavily fined if things are not done right and if the job is not finished. Even if you make the mistake of paying them in full they have an obligation to complete the contract/job. I would get that information before whoever starts the job.

Good luck. I just do not want to see you make the same mistakes that many others have made.
 

Saintshizzle

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I don't see any info on your fiancee's location, or the area that he serves. Did I miss something on the site?

Big A,

I clicked links and got this:

WarriorRemodeling:
Your Total Handyman Service. Serving The Mississippi Gulf Coast.
 
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PennStateSaint

PennStateSaint

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thanks rugger, I ran into a lot of those problems when we re-did our pool a couple of years ago, total nightmare.
 

efil4stnias

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check out the "business board" up at the top....i know Rlemiuex is a contractor. I sure a couple of others. I was going to use rlemiux to build a shed until my Homeowner Association "architecural" committee said I have to abide by St. Tammany Parish "Setbacks" which is 10 ft off the back and 10 ft off the side which would put my shed 5 ft from my home! I could apply for a "variance" but thats $250 and no guarantee It would be granted. go figure... now I have to figure something else out.



ps Penn, I do commercial insurance ( have many contractors as clients ) If you want I can pm you some that I know are insured....
 

MommySaint

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I don't see any info on your fiancee's location, or the area that he serves. Did I miss something on the site?

He mostly works the MS gulf coast but has done some jobs in LA too. I know he recently did a job in NOLA. If you want to know if he would make it over to your area email him through his site. He is very resonable on prices and has 100% customer satisfaction.
 

Redlands Saints

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pennstate, something to add to what rugger posted. some of the workers are not nice people. I had $6000 worth of tools stolen from my garage while we had work done. I have a feeling who took them but can't prove it. don't leave your house alone for more than the workday. if you can work out your schedule so you are there when they get there everyday. if not get one of your neighbors to watch them.
 

dtc

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I am a contractor and since I'm not in your area, I'm going to offer some points. Clearly, you've just read all the pitfalls and nightmares posted above that have probably frightened the heck out of you. Well, they're all true except the broad generalizations. Perhaps with Katrina and the increased work there are more people of the lower quality working than normal, but not all contractors are thieves and not all employees and subs are lying, drunken and drug addicted. In fact, that's so far from true that I wonder if perhaps in NO they are and over here in sunny Pensacola the laws, licensing and permitting are so much more strict that they can't be.

Anyway, here goes.

Know what you want and have a design with specs ready.
Meet with reputable subs with insurance and licenses and discuss what you want.
Check references and inspect other work.
Check licenses and insurance and insist that permits are pulled.
Don't go with the cheapest estimate. You get what you paid for and our trucks, offices, boats, wives, insurance, equipment and tools cost a ton. You don't get to have those items if you're not making money.
Don't expect anything for free and don't try to keep getting more and more for your money. You'll create resentment and that will affect your job.
Pay your bill as agreed.
Have signed contracts.
Make selections as required.

Enjoy the product.
 

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