According to various resources that keep tabs on the construction industry, it’s been reported that home renovations are slowly on the rise and it’s predicted to move forward over the next 5 years. More folks are staying in place and choosing to improve their homes and short sales and foreclosures have contributed to the industry’s growth.
Homeowners are also on the hunt for some deals and are expecting contractors to slash their costs in order to get their business. These same folks will be looking only at the bottom line pricing and will mistakenly go for the lowest bid, not even understanding what each bid contains. Low ball bids will be devoid of important details that describe the work and materials to be used and as such will end up costing the homeowner more in the form of “Change Orders” that are used to add any work/materials that are not outlined in the written agreement and costs start to climb. And this leads to confusion and ultimately frustration for the homeowner which could have been avoided had the consumer understood how to compare bids against each other and how a Scope of Work document along with a Specifications Sheet should be constructed.
So this is the one of the areas that homeowners get into trouble with and once you sign that contract you’re obligated. Which means if you didn’t do your homework on the subject you’re headed for trouble and your costs to complete the project will only escalate.
I recently received an email from a woman whose project ended up costing her $70,000 more than the original quote and the work according to her is shoddy. I asked her a few questions about how she went about hiring the contractor and as I suspected, she did little to vet the contractor other than license check. And she really didn’t understand the importance of learning to decipher and compare bids and well, she got burned.
This is exactly what I've been talking about in regards to unethical, smarmy, so-called contractors coming into these disaster areas and re-victimizing homeowners who have lost their homes and basically everything to hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. Having sat on the "Don't Get Scammed" panel after the San Diego wildfires in 2007, these scams can happen when consumers are so vulnerable, believing that most have their best interests at heart. Not within this industry, unfortunately, which is easily hijacked by despicable individuals.