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dreamdoctor

Sounds good - do you know the number of people that bother me for this and never contact them after I have to make sure it is OK? I've stopped bothering former clients regarding references; it is not needed when you get most of your work from referrals and the net with a very niche market. I don't look for work - if you want to use someone else please do. I tell people if they can find someone better, faster, more attentive to their needs and less expensive please give me their name so I can use them too!


I'm in the middle of an extensive design build project (swinging a hammer and everything else for 6 1/2 years so far - I warned her repeatedly). Every now and again we think it would it would be nice to speed things up and contract some people to do some of the work. The sticker shock is substantial and they rarely follow directions to the point of creating more work for me - from the perspective of the homeowner the work is good and the subs "nice" but they are not afforded again.


Find a small well-defined project for the contractor to do after interviewing, with the understanding there might be other work to do. I rarely jump into an arrangement with a contractor with both feet unless I know their reputation via reference from others in the trade - not home owners. If you jump in with both feet you'll not only find out how deep the water is very fast but also if it is shark infested - the home owner references have no liability where I can get back to the others in the trade that recommended them. Some of the recommended subs now work in big box stores after they thought they could make windfall profit from me and my projects.


A home owner reference is only as good as their understanding of the business - not that they are without value but they are only part of the puzzle and not indefensible by any means - I am usually uncomfortable with the dance they have to do for the client - for a good contractor it is not their forte' - that is for salespeople. If the company has sales people that is what they are doing - selling you something. I work with good people, not necessarily nice people.

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Toni McCormick

I suppose the better questions (s) to ask regarding certain projects is/are : WHAT are your procedures for tiling, laying floors, installing items etc. EDUCATE yourself on the correct/professional ways these tasks are done. We made the mistake of hiring a licensed contractor after seeing and talking to OTHER clients--his work w us was SHODDY, and several corners were cut. ALSO: FIND OUT WHERE the materials are purchased. Our contractor was from the North and bought his lumber at a company (because that's what they used there) that NO ONE locally would touch. We were OVER CHARGED for crap lumber! Now I insist on examining base materials.

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dreamdoctor

nite - well said. I meant to say "not indispensable" as opposed to "not indefensible" in the last post - some you can edit some you can't. That is the "problem" with contractors and designers, they are not always consistent either - which may have to do with them, or you.

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