How to choose a contractor
Reading Estimates: Like Comparing Apples to Oranges (sometimes)
Let’s talk about comparing apples to oranges. So, you have received multiples estimates for your project. They all seem to say roughly the same “stuff” so you go straight to final costs. All things being roughly equal (or seemingly so) you choose the contractor with the lowest bid. Makes sense. Or, does it?
Before you make a decision, make sure you ask lots of questions.
A good contractor will be happy to answer your questions. What are the materials that are being used? What is the warranty? Has the company received favorable reviews? Has the company provided a forum for customers to share their experiences (positive or negative)? Are the workers properly trained? Does the company have insurance? Will the contractor be subcontracting any part of the project? And if the contractor says “I can waive the HST,” your next question should be “at what cost to me?” Know that no HST means no paper trail…and no paper trail means no warranty. And if something should go wrong down the road, will they come back to rectify the issue? These are just some of the many questions you should be asking before making your final decision.
In any industry where material costs are fixed, you must question why contractor A is charging so much less than contractors B and C. If one contractor is gleefully undercutting another, that contractor can only afford to do so because he has found a way to cut corners. This means less time spent on your project (and less attention to detail) and less material (or wrong material) used. In regard to interlock, you may be getting sub-par materials. No, not all interlock is made the same. If your contractor says “I can get you a similar stone from supplier X,” you should be questioning just how similar the two products really are. The bottom line? Make sure you question the lowest price just as much as you question the highest price…if not more.
At the end of the day, it is your house and your hard-earned money and you should feel confident in your decision. While there are lots of great companies out there, there also some really not-so-great ones. Just do your homework. This is all we ask.
At Bulgari Paving, we take great pride in what we do.
No company is perfect and we certainly don’t profess to be perfect. We do, however, strive to be as upfront and transparent as possible. Cutting corners is not our thing and it shouldn’t be your thing either. We are homeowners as well and there is nothing more frustrating than learning of customers who thought they were getting one thing but ended up getting something completely different.
An apple is not an orange and vice versa.