Very often, people who are about to hire a local contractor will send the wrong messages before the project even begins. In doing so, they ensure that they will not be getting good value for their money. There are many mistakes that can be made, and each of them can cost a client dearly. By following the following common-sense guidelines, you can be sure that your contractor will give you the best value possible while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship:
Research Prices and State Your Budget Upfront
A typical situation for a Local contractor involves him or her suggesting an upgrade to the project and the client agreeing to it without committing to a rigid pricing scheme. As soon as this happens, the contractor is encouraged to not only to charge a high price for the upgrade, but also to suggest other upgrades that he can overcharge for. Contractors love dealing with clients who are not price sensitive or overly assertive because they have more leeway to upsell or adjust for extra costs. Therefore, sending the message that price is “not an issue” can be a very costly mistake.
Avoid Excessive Price Shopping
Make no mistake about it; price is an extremely important factor for almost every client of general contractors. However, many contractors find that some of their clients take this too, and hurt themselves in the process. Examples of this include bargaining the price down for upgrades, or claiming that another contractor will do the same thing for a cheaper price. Many in-demand contractors disapprove of overzealous price shoppers, and do not want to deal with them. If you send the message that you will negotiate every price fiercely, you risk tarnishing your relationship or completely losing a talented contractor. Thus, agreeing on a generally accepting or industry-accepted pricing scheme is recommended.
Do not Always Act Like an Expert
One of the main fears of many contractors is the client that thinks he or she is an expert. Very often they are not experts; rather, they are simply clients that are difficult to deal with. While local contractors may appreciate that you have prior understanding, it’s important to not watch them like a hawk and develop a good relationship. That’s why it’s important to give clear instructions and avoid ambiguity.
If you have some expertise in the contractor’s field and want to suggest alternate methods and strategies for the project, most contractors will appreciate your advice. Still, it’s important not to fall in the trap of micro-managing to the point of irritating your contractor-after all, you hired the contractor for a reason, right?
These guidelines should establish a proper relationship with prospective contractors, which will ensure that the best contractors want to work for you, and that they stay motivated throughout the project.