Risks You Face Hiring the Low Bid Contractor
Do You Want to Risk Your Dream Project on the Low Bidder?
The information on this page is not meant to scare you. It is meant to give you the education and information you need, so your project doesn't turn into a home remodeling nightmare.
If you are like most homeowners here in the Phoenix-metro area, you've only taken on one significant remodeling project in recent years. Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors that operate in the Phoenix area know this and may look to take advantage of you. In the business, we call them "hit and run" contractors because they don't expect to work for you again! All contractors, of course, are in the business of making money. So if a homeowner keeps pushing for a lower and lower price, the only way a contractor can meet that demand is to offer a lower quality project.
If you are considering hiring a company, we, of course, recommend that you do your homework – use the questions provided on How to Select a Professional Design-Build Contractor and our FAQ page. Remember- if a contractor gives vague answers or is reluctant to put things in writing, you should cross them off of your list. It is also a good idea to ask the design-build or remodeling contractor to detail step-by-step what they are going to do to complete your project. Having each contractor process handy allows you to compare each bid on an "apples-to-apples basis." A uniform comparison helps to eliminate the guesswork and highlight the differences in what each contractor will provide.
6 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire a Contractor to Complete Your Home Renovation
Do a quick Google search for the Phoenix-metro area, and you will see plenty of stories about contractors that disappeared with homeowners' deposits, did substandard work, and operate without being licensed. There is an eye-opening list of some of the worst ones on the State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors website www.azroc.gov.
Many contractors offer a low bid with little or no details. Legitimate contractors don't work that way. Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team provides a complete proposal that includes all costs as soon as your design is approved.
Plenty of experts will tell you not to reveal your budget to a contractor. The truth is that, as the homeowner, you will make the most significant choices that will impact your total project cost. For example, low-end kitchen cabinets can cost $10,000, while high-end cabinets can run $50,000 for the same kitchen. We help you design your project and then help you manage your budget by providing alternatives that will give you the look and functionality you want and keep you within your overall budget.
Believe it or not, an 8-10% profit is something every design-build or remodeling contractor strives for. Any bid that is 10% or more below another bid can't be the same job using the same materials and installation methods. To make up for the lower price the contractor must substitute lower-quality materials or take shortcuts on installation to make up the difference. At Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team, we won't lower our quality or standards just to land a job.
Many people believe that it isn't necessary to check references. Ask the people who hired the con men on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website if they wished they had checked references. It is natural to believe a person that is "nice" and polite. Use the questions on our References page and call ten references. Make sure to ask how the final price compared to the original proposal.
There is also a pretty good chance that the low bidder isn't licensed and doesn't carry any insurance or has minimal coverage. This puts all the risk on the homeowner. An unlicensed contractor cheats the government, and if they do that, they won't think twice about deceiving you. Avoiding them is just smart!
In Arizona, it is plain and simple. If you contract with an unlicensed contractor, you will not have access to the ROC complaint process or the Residential Contractors Recovery fund if there is a dispute.
Before you commit to the low bidder, please check them out thoroughly using the information on our website and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website.
Here is What You Can Expect from the Low Bidder
There is a considerable difference between the $69 bargain window at a local home improvement store, and a well-made window. These windows will not be custom fit for your home, and this will cause improper installation or shortcuts in installation. The bottom line is they will make your house cold in the winter and hot in the summer and will cost you far more in utility bills.
Sheetrock and Drywall
Nails pop and seams begin to show up shortly after the job is finished and then it's too late. One more thing – sheetrock from China or other countries can have severe health consequences.
Walls have to be plumb, or they will cause endless problems with the drywall, moldings, casements, and other trim work. The cabinets and trim work won't be flush with a wall or ceiling. The gaps will be almost impossible to fill (and it will just look awful!).
You can spend $10,000 or $50,000 on cabinets for the same kitchen. Lots of cabinets look ok from the outside, but the inner construction is cheap. Doors will warp or won't close; drawers come apart, tracks, and hinges come loose. If the measurements are not done correctly, the cabinets will have to be modified on-site to make them fit and this can delay your project for weeks.
Granite or Marble
These are nice upgrades, and they should look great. But if they aren't installed properly, you can end up with uneven seams. And if the sub decking shifts, the seams will get bigger, and filling it in only makes it look worse. This can be a significant investment that ends up looking mediocre in the long run.
Cheap plumbing components, especially the ones behind the walls, can begin to leak and cause long term damage to floors, walls, and ceilings. Leaks can create mold issues, and mold is costly to remediate and can lead to insurability issues.
An area that you need to have a professional design and installation. Poor design or the wrong size system will result in a wide range of temperatures from room to room. This will also increase your utility costs as you always have to change the thermostat. Utility costs keep going up.
Most homeowners will never get up on a roof to inspect it. The low bidder knows this and will use it to their advantage. Ridge vents must be correctly installed to ensure proper airflow; transitions must be flush to prevent leaks, flashing provides the necessary protection against the elements and much more. There are more than 20 inspection points that should be checked on each roof installation to ensure that the manufacturer's warranty is enforceable.
If the drywall is poorly installed, it will be almost impossible for the painter to make it look right. The defects will show up in uneven seams, nail pops, uneven surfaces, and more. This also means that additional time will be required to prep the walls to try to fix the other issues.
Low Contract Bidder vs. Professional Remodeling Company
Which would you prefer? The unlicensed and unorganized low bid contractor or Professional Remodeling Contractor working on your largest investment?
At Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team, we want our clients to know what they are getting for their hard-earned dollars. Our step-by-step installation processes for additions, kitchens, baths and all other major projects will allow you to compare on an apples-to-apples basis what we are providing versus our competitors so you won’t get fooled by someone with a low price.
If you want to add on for extra living space, or simply improve the layout and functionality of your home by renovating your kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom, home office, outdoor kitchen or outdoor living area or any other area of your home, let us show you our experience so your project won’t become a home remodeling nightmare.