Top 8 Tips for Dealing with Contractors and Why Women Should Know Them ...

Sometimes it can be a tough world for us when we don't know what we're talking about or getting ourselves into if our cars break down, our roof starts to leak, or even when our dish washer won't work correctly. The tough part isn't the break down, it's the contractors we call to help us fix the problem. There are some people out there who like to walk all over us when we don't know what the cost should be or how long it should take to fix. Well our good friend Nan Gibbons is back to share with us the Top 8 Tips for Dealing with Contractors and Why Women Should Know Them...
What to Know...
"When choosing a contractor for work on your property, it’s difficult finding a reputable professional with a solid record of good workmanship. If you are a woman, this adds to your difficulty, as many contractors feel it is okay to dupe women. It is therefore important to be knowledgeable about the work that you are hiring for beforehand, to avoid being scammed. Below are some key notes you should be aware of before embarking on a project..."

8. Kind of Work Needed...

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"This seems like an obvious thing to know, but how many times have you heard an unidentified sound in your car and taken it to the mechanic, not even knowing what was in need of repair? Many mechanics will take advantage of your naïveté and perform unnecessary repairs. Similarly, when you need work done in or around your home, be sure that you know exactly what needs to be done. Familiarize yourself with any technical terms, and have a clear description prepared for potential contractors."

7. How Much Labor Will Go into Your Project...

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"It is rare that you will require a service that has not already been performed by other contractors countless times before. Consequently, there are testimonials about similar projects that will attest to how difficult and physically challenging it will be. This will influence your prospective contractor’s overall price, and should be taken into account when planning your budget, and when interviewing candidates."

6. What the Finished Project Should Look like...

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"As stated before, it is likely that a project similar to yours has already been completed. If you are having your basement sealed or your house re-roofed (or whatever it is that you want done), you will be able to find pictures of projects that were done correctly and incorrectly, which will ensure that you receive the best quality of work possible."

5. Rough Estimate of Time Needed for Job...

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"Read others’ accounts of similar projects. How long did their contractor take to complete the task? By learning this, you will be able to avoid paying for a month’s worth of work that should only have taken two weeks to complete. This will save you time and money in the long-run, and will reduce the amount of headaches that you will have as your project progresses."

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4. Materials Needed and Rough Cost Estimates...

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"If you have trouble finding information like this, there are forums in which you can ask specific questions and receive valid answers. Many popular projects (siding your home, tree removal, etc.) have hidden costs, and it is important to know these beforehand so you won’t be surprised when your contractor’s quoted cost is higher than what you had anticipated."

3. Average Pricing...

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"While some contractors may charge more due to their experience and expertise in a given field, or because they use higher-quality materials than their counterparts, it is always a good idea to shop around a little before agreeing to a quoted price. Try to find a high-low range, and settling somewhere just above the average price. This will ensure a reasonable price, and good-quality work."

2. Reputations of Potential Contractors...

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"It’s one thing if a contractor assures you that they are the best candidate for the job, but what do others have to say about them? My mother recently needed work done on her driveway, and rather than hiring the first contractor she found in the phone book, she researchedSan Jose contractors on the Internet. By reading what customers had to say, she was able to make an informed choice, and she paid less and had better-quality work done in the long run."

1. Contractor’s Description of Work to Be Done...

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"While interviewing contractors, have them describe how they foresee the project progressing, important things to know about the work that will be done, their tentative schedule, any problems they anticipate, and so forth. Listen critically and pay attention to descriptions that don’t match what you have researched. Don’t be afraid to ask relevant questions and use appropriate terms, so they understand that you aren’t someone who will be easily manipulated or taken advantage of."

"With a little research and a lot of commonsense, you can avoid being cheated or taken advantage of, and you can find a contractor that is well-suited to your needs and desires. Once you have formed this relationship, it will be easier to find someone the next time, as you will have more confidence and experience the next time around."

Thanks to Nan Gibbons, who writes for Menshealthpdand EatBreatheBlog, for sharing with us these tips that we should use the next time we need home or car repair. Remember not all contractors are out to get one over on us, but just be careful of those who might.

Top Image: HowStuffWorks

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