Several years ago, I remodeled a house in Bonita Springs that quickly turned into a nightmare, ending with a shower that leaked into my master bedroom and the job never getting finished. I went to the company’s office to get my money back so I could finish the job with another contractor. The problem was all the doors were locked and the building was vacant! The act of remodeling your home is overwhelming enough. Add a bad contractor to the mix, and let the nervous breakdown begin! Don’t make the same mistakes I did! Here’s what I learned:
- Stick to referrals as much as possible. If your friends had a good experience with someone, they should automatically move to the top of your list. Knowing someone who had everything delivered to them as promised goes a long way. Odds are they will work in the same manner, delivering you similar results.
- Make sure the contractors are licensed and insured. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many “contractors” are not. Don’t be afraid to ask and see their documentation. In most communities in our area, especially high-rises, the contractor you hire won’t even be allowed in the building if they haven’t made good on their paperwork.
- Make sure the contractors pull permits. Most types of remodeling require you, as the owner, to have permits pulled by the county. If you don’t do this prior to doing the work, it can cost you thousands of dollars to make it right. Do not go down this road, it could easily end in disaster.
- Always see the contractors past jobs they have completed. Get pictures, specs, and go there in person if possible to check out their prior work. If they don’t have prior jobs to show you or happy customers to let you speak to, you should run the other way. This is a major red flag!
- Negotiate! There are a lot of people without work right now. Don’t just accept the price you are told. Interview five different contractors and get five different bids. Then work them against each other to see who wants to work for you the most. A lot of times you can buy supplies on your own with deep discounts and have the contractor install them. This alone will save you thousands on up-charges of the product.
Need help Selling, Buying, or with Property Management? Please contact Gabe for FREE advice at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com Gabe Mellein is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, He has 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate.