Don’t Let a Shady Home Improvement Contractor Swindle You

When it comes to doing any kind of renovation to your home, home contractors are a dime a dozen.  Finding a good one at a fair price has always been the challenge, unfortunately there are a lot of less than reputable characters in the construction and home improvement industries.  Before you hire anyone you need to know their specialty, ask the right questions and get some credentials.  Don’t let a shady home improvement contractor swindle you.

Don't Let a Shady Home Improvement Contractor Swindle You

Contractor Scams

Contractor scams are a huge problem that the industry has been trying to regulate for years.  It is still largely up to the consumer to be aware and vigilant because these scams happen more often than they should.  You can be bilked out of thousands of dollars if you are caught unaware.  You can avoid them if you are armed with a little knowledge ahead of time.  Here are some of the more common contractor scams.

Sign of an Unethical Contractor

  • Door to door sales, legitimate contractors won’t use this sales tactic
  • Offering a deal because there is leftover materials from another job
  • High pressure sales tactics
  • Only accepting cash payments
  • Working without the proper permits
  • Offering lifetime warranties or guarantees
  • No business listing online

Any one of these can mean that your contractor isn’t reliable or responsible.  Oftentimes these contractors will work with scam loan companies as well.  Loans for home improvements are almost as common today and just as financially devastating.  You can end up home equity loans that are at insanely high interest rates, and huge fees.  Once the contractor is paid by this loan they don’t really have much interest in seeing that the job is completed or that it is done well.  People get home equity loans all the time to repair or improve their properties but it is done through reputable banks and finance companies and you work with a licensed contractor.

Reporting Your Experience

If you have had a bad experience with a contractor your first step is trying to work it out with the contractor.  If that can’t be done then your next step is to send them a certified letter requesting a receipt.  Make sure you keep records of any all transactions or correspondence with the contractor.  Even if this doesn’t work you still have further options.  Start by reporting them to industry associations along with the Better Business Bureau.  Check for a local consumer protection office and if the local media has an action line.  Do whatever you can to bring attention to the situation and get it resolved.

Keep Costs Inline While Still Getting a New Bathroom

When it comes to bathroom renovations the cost can vary enormously depending on the size of the project and what upgrades you decide to go with.  If you don’t plan out your renovation the right way you will soon find costs getting away from you.  Here is how you can keep costs inline while still getting a new bathroom.

Keep Costs Inline While Still Getting a New Bathroom

Do it Right the First Time

Using a cheap contractor or cheap material does you not good if you have to do it twice.  If you think reusing materials like your bathtub or getting a “friend” to help with renovations as opposed to hiring a contractor will save you money you’re mistaken.  Friends that aren’t actual tradesmen have no business trying to fix your plumbing or electrical work, and your bathroom has both.   Also the whole situation can backfire and end up costing you a fortune.  Not to mention that it can take forever trying to schedule all the help that you need.

Retrofits

Retrofits are those cosmetic renovations that don’t need you to gut your bathroom down to the studs and rebuild it from scratch.  Changing layouts makes your costs skyrocket.  If you keep everything where it is you can save thousands of dollars in renovation costs.  You can still increase your storage space and change color and fixtures or whatever you like.

What the Cost of Your Tile

Just changing your tile alone can make a huge difference in the look of your bathroom, I can also make or break your budget.  There are some guidelines that can help you select the right tile and keep you within your budget.

  • Small tiles cost more.  Mosaic tiles can make your shower look absolutely stunning but they also cost a fortune. They can cost well over $200 per square meter.  Add to that the cost of having a tile guy install them takes far more time so you will spend your more money.  Small tiles require that the surface you are putting them on is perfectly flat or imperfections will clearly show, all of this is more time and when it comes to renovations time is money.
  • Going in the other direction those extra-large tiles are also far more expensive. They look great and make your bathroom look larger but the scale of them can make them awkward and heavy to install.  You will need two installers rather than just the one so it’s double the labor cost.  Standard tile sizes lower your costs.
  • Don’t tile the entire bathroom. Covering the entire bathroom from floor to ceiling is also more expensive, aesthetically it can be overwhelming too.  To cut down on your costs all you need to tile is just the areas that are exposed to water like around the shower and bathtub.
  • The finish you choose for your tiles will also affect the price. You can choose between a matt, gloss or semi-gloss with matt finish being the least expensive.  You can save money with matt and it is easier to clean making it ideal for the bathroom.

Renovations can improve the value of your home but only if the costs don’t get away from you.  These are some ways that you can keep your expenses under control.