Contracting Jobs

When contracting a job of a home improvement nature (or any other nature for that matter) make sure you are dealing with the actual company that is to do the job. Preferably with the actual person who will have primary responsibility for the job.

The best way to screw up a project is to get involved with person or persons who sub-contract. Persons like most home improvement centers.

Home improvement centers should be the absolute last resort or not even considered at all. You will end up with phoney quotes as they try to second guess what the real jobber will charge. You might get inferior work. Contestable responsibility. Even be faced with having to have the job done over by qualified professionals. Even with all those risks, you may still not get the best price.

One such vendor advertises whole house carpet installation for $100 regardless of square footage. Does that seem too good to be true? It seems that way to me. Carpet installation for most customers requires the removal of the old carpet, removal of the old pad, replacement of the tack strips. All this before any new carpet is cut. Figuring an average house of appoximately 2000 square feet and about 80 precent of that carpeted this is a two day job for two installers unless they work a 12 hour day. That means these installers would have to work for less than minimum wage.

How much skill can you buy for minimum wage? That $100 non conditional installation plan is a disaster looking for a place to happen.

Now ask yourself, how many other good deals seeking disaster status do these fools have?

Do you really want to find out?

I don’t.

You are not always better off going the more professional route but in most cases that is the way to go. Don’t get sucked in by teaser rates.

A very good example is the purchase of a new washing machine two years ago. The first attempt was though a home improvement center appliance department. It was a new Maytag. The delivery was on time and prompt after the purchase and the price was reasonable (around $300). There was no installation. They just delivered it to the laundry room and were going to leave. I insisted it be hooked up if even temporarily so that I could see it run. Once it was full of water and working it began to rock and roll and move across the floor. I had them take it back. They promised to return the next day with a machine that worked properly.

The next day the rock and roll incident was repeated. In fact, I was not sure the it was not the exact same machine. Not interested in becoming a washing machine test center, I sent it back and got a refund. I am still not sure if it was a vendor problem or a Maytag problem. The only thing I was SURE of was that it was not going to become MY problem.

I took the refund to a local appliance store. This was a dedicated appliance store. Appliances were not a sideline with them. Appliances were their only business. This time we bought a Whirlpool for $360 including tax, delivery, and installation.

The man who came to install the new Whirlpool was super efficient, knew exactly what he was doing, and gave us some tips as to use. Nothing at all like the two delivery men from the home improvement center. More importantly, the new washer did not rock and roll and is still going strong.

You pays your money and takes your chances. That is how most people operate. You should try to take no chances and only pay after the job has been completed successfully.

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