When the Homeowner's Away, Will the Contractor Play?

From on February 20, 2009 in General Remodel

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Anyone who has lived through a remodeling job of almost any size can tell you that there are times when you have to vacate the premises and get away from it all in order to keep your sanity. This is tricky business, though, because when you’re not there to monitor the goings-on, productivity on the job is at risk. The saying “while the cat’s away the mice will play” has become a well-known adage for a reason.

While I was hunting around for helpful hints to share with you, I came upon a really informative resource: Contractors From Hell.com. The range of topics covered on this website for consumer protection against unscrupulous – or just plain unmotivated or downright lazy – contractors extends far beyond the matter of making sure your hired contractors stay on task when you’re not on the worksite. It’s all part of the theme of contractor responsibility, though, so let’s consider the big picture.

The Los Angeles Times said, “Jody Costello’s website Contractors From Hell.com is a must-read for homeowners who have endured – or hope to avoid – dishonest or incompetent home builders and remodelers.” In the introductory portion of the website, Costello writes, “Homeowners should not have to be held hostage by unethical contractors and can do much to protect themselves by researching their potential contractor and understanding what your contract states – and more importantly – what it should state and include. Find yourself an ethical contractor who knows and insists on quality construction, abides by the construction laws, hires licensed subs, and shows up for a full day’s work on a regularly scheduled basis – and is great at keeping you informed of progress or unanticipated problems – you will be a very happy homeowner when all is said and done.”

Toward this end, services like CalFinder are dedicated to helping you avoid nightmares with irresponsible contractors by representing and recommending contractors who are prescreened as not only skilled but also reliable. These contractors are “available for your questions and concerns from the initial estimate to the final walk through. The combination of these outstanding business practices in combination with character and integrity make up a CalFinder Contractor.

With assurances like these, you can feel confident that you’re on the right path to developing a relationship with a contractor who is able to stay focused and on task, whether you are onsite or not. When this kind of trust exists between you and your contractor, work output improves and everyone involved can go about their business with mutual respect for all concerned.

What it boils down to is that something like monitoring a contractor when you’re offsite is part of a much larger ball of wax – which is hiring a reputable and reliable contractor in the first place. Another way CalFinder helps you do this is by connecting you with local professionals who provide free estimates – and in the process of getting these, you’ll have first-hand opportunity to choose among people and services you can count on.