We’re at the tail end of a bathroom remodel in our home, and like anyone who has had a contractor take over an important part of their home for a few weeks, I’ve learned it’s not something I want to do often.
If you’ve dealt with a contractor or construction crew in your home, then you probably have a horror story to tell. I’m not here to tell you our horror story. Delays and mistakes are common in dealing with anything as big and complex as a house.
As a personal finance freelance writer who almost always considers things from a personal finance perspective, there were some financial lessons that our contractor inadvertently taught us. Among them:
Low prices are low for a reason
I used an app called Thumbtack to find professionals to come to our house and give us a price quote after reviewing the job and our needs. Of four contractors who responded to my request through the app, one didn’t get back to me, one offered an exceeding high price for the size of our small bathroom, one offered a fair price, and one didn’t meet our deadline for submitting a bid.
Which contractor did we pick? The one with the lowest price, though with only one other contractor providing a price, the competition wasn’t fierce. But after contacting references, I was confident he was a good choice.
But then his low price, which didn’t seem alarmingly low and was a fair, started to make some sense. He wasn’t as organized as I expected someone to be who was in charge of multiple things being replaced in a bathroom. A few things weren’t measured correctly. Continue reading