As a homeowner, you’ve probably found yourself doing price comparisons with different contractors before starting any project. While your first instinct might be to go with the lower quote, many factors can cause one contractor’s pricing to differ from another.
If there are significant differences, it’s essential to find out why. Is one contractor cutting corners? Do they have less experience? It would be best if you used careful consideration before making your final decision. Doing so will ensure that you get the best value for your money. Here are a few things to keep in mind when comparing prices between contractors.
The biggest difference we see when comparing quotes is the materials used. Contractors all have their preferred choice of materials, which can vary greatly by cost. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for quotes to differ based on these selections.
If a contractor can save you a lot of money on the cost of materials, you should ask them why that is. Are they using lower-quality materials? How do they compare to the materials used by the more expensive contractor? It’s crucial to find the balance between quality and affordability.
Skills & Knowledge
It’s not uncommon for newer companies to charge less. Though everyone has to start somewhere, you should use caution when choosing contractors with less experience. They often lack the knowledge and skills to get the job done right the first time.
Unfortunately, that could cost you more money in the long run. Whatever the discount may be, you could end up paying extra to fix their mistakes. Remember that it is always worth it to pay more for a contractor who knows what they are doing. A reliable contractor with experience can reassure you that the job will be done right, and they should also be able to answer any questions you have about their detailed quote.
While shopping around, remember that, ultimately, this project is all about you, your home, and your family. Therefore, you should choose someone that offers excellent customer service and factor that into the cost. A cheap contractor who stresses you out and communicates poorly doesn’t provide nearly as much value as a contractor who prioritizes your satisfaction.
To compare contractors based on customer service, you should ask what type of communication you can expect. Good contractor communication should include the following:
- Addressing questions and concerns honestly and quickly
- Ensuring you understand what’s going to avoid regret and costly mistakes
- Maintaining an open line of communication to keep you involved
At Decked Out Builders, communication is one of our strongest values. Therefore, we always keep an open and frequent line of communication with our clients.
While you might expect that the contractors you hire will be the ones doing the work, this isn’t always the case. Some companies use subcontractors. Others, like Decked Out Builders, use in-house employees. This can make a big difference in the outcome and your experience, so you should always ask who will work in your home as you compare contractors.
What differences can you expect when a company uses subcontractors?
Most subcontractors get paid by the job, so they have no set schedule. This could cause your project to be delayed, especially if the general contractor has many outstanding projects for them to complete first. In addition, subcontractors may have different standards than what you would expect. They might not take pride in their work like employees do either.
Trying to compare estimates from different companies can be confusing, so you should also consider a contractor’s ability to educate you on your options. There are many different products on the market, but not every product is a good fit for every customer.
If you want to find the best option for you and your lifestyle, you will need a builder with a lot of product knowledge. Though one contractor may have higher prices, their familiarity with different products and materials can add to their value.
Any project is an investment, so you want to ensure you are protected in case anything goes wrong. A good contractor should warranty their work to give you added peace of mind. However, you also want to make sure that you get a manufacturer’s warranty in case something with the materials is faulty or goes wrong. It’s important to note that occasionally manufacturer warranties are denied when a certified installer didn’t do the work.
You may also find yourself paying more for a contractor with an excellent reputation typically built over many years. Experience isn’t the only factor to impact a company’s reputation. Their end results also play a big role in whether or not they are reputable.
While it’s hard to verify a company’s reputation through its website alone, you can quickly get an idea of what other people think of them by looking at reviews. Friends and family who rave about their experience can also vouch for a company’s reputation.