Finding a good contractor can feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. There are methods to make your search easier and we at American Bath Remodeling are here to help. If you haven’t already, check out part one of this blog to see how managing your expectations can help you find the right contractor or subcontractor for the job. So why is it hard to find a good commercial contractor?
You Don’t Want Surprises, But Set Yourself Up For Them
A common problem we hear is that you don’t want any surprises, but you’re often shocked to see the bill. This one is controversial, but we believe it needs to be said. Do not push for itemized or labor-only quotes, even on complex jobs.
Simply put, the majority of good contractors will never offer itemized quotes. Markup and Profit explains clients look for itemization as a way to save money without the consent of the contractor. A good contractor protects themselves by not offering itemized breakdowns of their quotes to most clients.
Line-by-line breakdown of what each item costs can present more surprises than it causes. You cannot change items on this list or swap them out because you bought something cheaper without the contractor’s consent. Doing so could lead to legal actions, as the price you both agreed upon is not the price you want to pay your contractor.
While we’re on the topic of pricing, a good contractor will always include overhead expenses (advertising, sales commission, job supervision, insurance, legal fees, etc.), into the quote.
If you’re curious, a good contractor will walk you through the bill and will explain the pricing to you if you ask for it.
My Contractor Won’t Use Brand-Name Products
Procuring a brand specific product can be challenging, especially if your contractor is not experienced.
This can be for a variety of reasons. Certain contractors stick to specific brands because they are used to working with the product or are ambassadors for that brand. A low bidding contractor may cut corners by using cheaper materials and claim they are “comparable.” While less expensive does not always mean the product is lesser quality, always ask how it is comparable.
Does your contract contain brand name specifications? Look for this as a way of knowing what products your contractor will use. Some contractors opt not to include this information in their contract..
Contractors can often obtain a competitive edge by basing a bid on a product that is less expensive than the brand-name option. To be in compliance with the law, a product can only be considered equal if they perform the same action to the same level of quality with respect to specification requirements in comparative testing and analysis.
The alternative option does not need to be identical, but it does need to achieve the same result of similar quality and provide all of the essential functions specified and be suitable to the actual needs.
An experienced contractor will know this and will be partnered with brand-name products. They will have the ability to get you a good deal on a trusted product so you do not have to jump through the hoops of finding out if the alternative option is indeed comparable.
Let Their Portfolio Speak For Itself
When in doubt, let the contractor’s portfolio speak for itself. Look for big name clients, photos of their previous jobs, and what the clients are asking for. Look for a variety of clients, but a focus too. Contractors can often be a Jack of All Trades, but a master of none. Look for the masters in your hyper-focused remodels and avoid ones that use third party companies.
You may not want a contractor who promises to remodel your bathroom, kitchen and basement, as they will likely bring in third party companies to assist them. While this is a common practice, it comes with the risk of a lack of consistency and a longer project deadline. You will want a contractor who has people on-staff who are masters at plumbing, electricity, and/or installation.
Those types of contractors do exist! Our staff at American Bath Remodeling is factory-trained on our custom installation services so there is no need to bring in a third party contractor.
We work with Best Western, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, LaQuinta, Marriott, and more. We focus on those in the hospitality industry, public housing, colleges/universities, military housing and healthcare. We’re a one-stop shop for all your bathroom remodel needs.
Our services include a tub to shower conversions, bathtub liners, shower bases, vanities, fiberglass bathtub replacements, and wall surrounds. We pride ourselves on serving our customers. We will walk you through the remodeling process step-by-step and help you stay within your budget.
We’re more than contractors too. We can offer product supply services for companies who are in contract with or have a built-in construction company.
If you want to find a good contractor, you need to be a good client. Contractors have gone on record to say that the client’s personality has an impact on how they handle the job. If the client is trustworthy, respectable and patient, there is a good chance the contractor will treat you and your remodel the same way.
You need to do your research, have a design in mind, stick to your budget, pick the right bid amount (not the lowest), and ask questions so you can have confidence in your contractor. Check their portfolio and be sure they don’t outsource work to a third party that they promised to do.
When in doubt, stick with someone with a proven track record, like us at American Bath Remodeling. If you’re in the market for a new commercial bathroom, we’re up for the task. Contacts us today!