Why Are Contractors Full of Excuses? A Contractor Speaks on the Issue

I hear this from almost every new client I meet.  It is amazing to hear all the different excuses that are given as to why the contractor can’t show up that day.  I’m a contractor myself and have been working in San Antonio for my entire career.   I will be the first to admit that this a very interesting and rough business to be in.  The construction industry, in general, has  very bad reputation.  Projects don’t get completed on time, workers don’t show up, the project ends up going over budget, the contractor walks off the job, I could go on….  The fact of the matter is that while the owner of the company you hire may be presentable and professional, the workers he hires may not be.  Can you imagine what that is like, having to rely on others to get jobs done for you that are not 100% reliable? I know what you are thinking…well, just hire people that are reliable, right?  Unfortunately, in the construction business, that is about as rare as hitting the lottery.  I’ve spent years assembling the right team that not only does quality work, but will follow through and finish the job that they said they would.  That is part of the reason that construction is so expensive.  The contractor has to figure  in a fudge factor for the unexpected problems that come with the job, unfortunately, there are about a million things that could happen during the course of a construction project.  New construction is a lot easier to predict that remodeling an entire home.  If you are getting the “run around” from a contractor that you have already paid, contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint (I am assuming you did your due diligence BEFORE you hired this contractor and made sure they were a member).

Why is my home remodeling project over budget?

Home remodeling and renovation is not an exact science.  There are many unforeseen problems that contractors can’t account for.  Negotiating a contract is an absolute must.   You should always have a contingency fee in each project (extra money in the budget for unexpected costs).  The problem is that it is impossible to plan for all the unexpected problems when you don’t know what they will be.  This is where a lot of contractors lose control of a job and when clients get angry.  While it is certainly understandable from a clients perspective, it isn’t always the contractors fault.  If I had it may way, I would charge a 25% contingency fee for all projects, but I wouldn’t have many clients that could afford to pay that amount.  That is why most contractors charge about 5% for their contingency fee, but that can be used up in a hurry.  After all, if you are remodeling your home, you are not dealing with the company that actually built your home, so they don’t know what is behind those walls until they start tearing into them.  That is when most of the problems arise and when the budget can get out of control.  Termites could be discovered, rotted wood, bad electrical wiring, leaking plumbing pipes, poor framing, the list goes on.  In order to fix those problems, it costs money.  That is why choosing a contractor can be a tricky thing to do.  Talk to friends, family, co-workers or neighbors who have been through the remodeling process before.  They will be able to give you a good idea of what to expect during a home remodeling project and which company they chose to work with.


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