by Mina Fies
Forgive me in advance for my rant, but I just can’t stand when homeowners are treated poorly by a contractor. Not only is it beyond painful for the family involved, it tarnishes the construction industry’s reputation as a whole. Worst part? It’s not necessary!
A realtor friend of mine referred a past client to us. He and his wife had lived in their home for 20+ years and decided to tackle their first renovation. The home already had an open floorplan, so they didn’t need to remove any walls or do any major reconfiguration; in other words, it was a straight-forward remodel.
About three-quarters of the way through the process, they realized their contractor was not as skilled as they thought he was. Cabinets were haphazardly installed (aka crooked), trim pieces didn’t line up, and the granite overhangs were uneven, among many other complaints. Once the homeowners started pointing these things out, the contractor went out of communication and now nothing was getting done.
The worst part? They discovered the contractor wasn’t even licensed!
Although not a typical project for us, we couldn’t sit by knowing they really needed our help getting their kitchen up and running. I could go on and on about how we came in and “saved the day,” but that’s not the point and this isn’t about us. This is about how important it is to hire quality contractors that know what they’re doing.
Yes, it will cost more. Yes, permits will be pulled. And yes, it will take longer than whatever “Chuck in the Truck” has told you. But wouldn’t you rather have the right expectations from the beginning? Isn’t it better to know what it’s REALLY going to cost up front and how long it’s REALLY going to take?
If you want to accomplish more than your budget will allow using a fully insured, licensed and ethical general contractor, then wait until you’ve saved a little more and get it done right… the first time.
If you were going to purchase a vehicle and you really wanted a quality car that was going to last and not have you in the repair shop weekly, there are certain things you wouldn’t do. You wouldn’t walk into a “pay and go” used car lot and buy a 1970’s XYZ car; you wouldn’t by a car from eBay sight unseen; and you wouldn’t buy a used vehicle without asking for a CarFax!
Instead, you would go to a reputable car dealership that only sells quality cars with warranties and possibly even a money-back guarantee.
Now obviously, you won’t find a reputable general contractor or design/build firm that offers a money-back guarantee, but there are a lot of us out here that take pride in our work, offer quality craftsmanship and, above all, create an experience for our clients that far exceeds expectations.
Alright, I’m done! Thanks for listening, and if you want to hear how it all turned out with that client, here’s what he had to say:
My wife and I couldn’t be more pleased after working with the Synergy team! We were going through a renovation with another contractor that went terribly wrong and we needed to find someone to quickly pick up the pieces.
Our realtor recommended Synergy, and after meeting them, we knew we were in good hands. The team addressed each item in a professional manner and communicated with us each step of the way. We felt our home (and sanity) was a priority for them, even though we knew the size and type of our project was out of the norm for their company.
We can’t say enough about Synergy’s responsiveness and professionalism, but most importantly, we knew they cared about us and unfortunately you don’t always find that in a contractor.
Rich & Vicki | Reston, VA | November 27, 2012