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  • Writer's pictureJames Erlinger

What to do if contractor does a bad job

Updated: Jun 1, 2018

To avoid a bad contractor, do the following steps:

1. Get a contract

2. Know the contractor's process

3. Understand the scope of work

4. Understand the Scheduling

5. Be in Contact

6. Remember, you get what you pay for

This kind of situation makes me CRAZY. As a general contractor/home remodeler/woodworker for St Louis Renovators, I have to counteract the shoddy work of bad contractors all the time. Not only do I have to fix their mistakes, bad contractors make it harder for people to be able to trust the next craftsman and put a taint on the entire industry. Below are the top 6 tips to follow when hiring a general contrator or home remodeling company:

1. Get a contract, always. It is what is going to save you if you’re not satisfied. Some contractors don’t want to use them because it binds THEM to the customer and forces them to make things right.

2. Know the contractors process (this is something people generally don’t know to do). This means finding out how he handles the logistics of the project (ie - do they put down barriers, plastic, tarp, hepa filters for dust, are they going to get the appropriate permits, do they buy the materials? If the customers buys the materials will the contractor take responsibility for them in the event of faulty construction, etc etc ).

3. Understand the scope of work. Is it enough to know they’re going to paint a room or will it be better to delineate that the customer expects caulking and taping as well as painting. Ideally this is in writing. With good contractors, they just do this the right way and you don’t have to worry about it. With bad ones, not so much.

4. Scheduling - when will they begin construction? Will they finish the job before they start another one? Etc. this ties into “process” - day 1-2 is for demo, day 3-8 electric and plumbing, etc. then everyone is on the same page.

5. Contact - can you easily reach your contractor? What do you do if a contractor doesn't return your calls? With St Louis Renovators, it is our priority to keep in contact with our clients any time they need us. If you can’t reach your guy, that’s an issue. If you call for an estimate and they don’t get back to you for 4-5 days, that’s a huge warning sign they'll continue to be unresponsive in the future..

6. Oftentimes, with home remodeling you get what you pay for. You’ll end up paying a lot more in money and emotional energy on a bad contractor and fixing their mistakes than on a good one.

All of this helps manage expectations on both sides! That’s probably the most important thing here.

It’s also good to be able to see pictures of their previous work. I have many on the STLR website photo gallery. These should be readily available.

person signing contract
person signing contract

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Jul 30, 2022

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