Wicked Homeowners - Eight Signs you're a Horrible Customer

Horrible Customer

Scientific observation has recently uncovered the existence of a previously undiscovered species. Homeownerus cheapus is most easily identified by its willingness to do just about anything to get something for free. This includes getting contractors to complete home improvement projects for next to nothing. While it's easy to dig up stories in which the villainous contractor visits untold horrors upon an unsuspecting homeowner, stories featuring the wicked homeowner are harder to come by. Before you choose a contractor, be sure to take a look in your mirror and ask: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the worst customer of all"...and hope the mirror doesn't point a finger at you.

#8 Contractors don't return your calls

When contractors won't call you back it's not a very good sign. Every business wants to turn a profit, and to do so, it needs to secure as many paying customers as possible. If you are getting few (or zero) responses despite calling every contractor in the tri-state area, it may be that you've made a bad first impression or earned a reputation for being difficult. If you talk to your potential contractor as if they were a naughty child, make unreasonable demands, or expect them to work for peanuts, you may have to put your home improvement plans on hold for a long, long time. Being polite, fair, and reasonable when securing a contractor's services will undoubtedly make your search a whole lot easier.

#7 You act like you are the contractor

Most people don't like a bigmouth...and this includes a bigmouth who tries to tell them how to do their job. While you should feel free to ask questions about the work you'd like done, you need to have faith that your contractor is the expert (not you). While it's always good to keep a watchful eye on the work that's being done, don't stifle workers with unnecessary questions and unreasonable complaints. You probably don't appreciate someone looking over your shoulder while you do your job, so it goes without saying that it annoys other people as well.

#6 You expect free stuff

It's common knowledge that most people don't want to work for free, and this includes contractors. There's a good chance that your home improvement expert has a family to feed, and that can be pretty difficult when all they have to show for giving you the kitchen of your dreams as a wheelbarrow full of sawdust. It's bad form to ask a contractor to do things that weren't originally agreed upon...unless you offer to pay for the extra work, and they agree to your proposal. It's also tasteless to ask for extras like upgraded materials without figuring in the added cost.

#5 You ask your contractor to do "shady" things

Contractors have rules to follow just like anyone else. These mostly relate to building codes and municipal regulations. You should never put a contractor in a difficult position by asking them to do something illegal.  It is also wise to avoid contractors who agree (or offer) to do things that don't seem on the up and up. Violations may result in fines for you, and the contractor could cause lose their license as well as their livelihood.

#4 You demand a cash-only job

The big problem with working on a cash-only basis is getting people to give you the cash. There is always the chance that a dishonest contractor could accept your big fat deposit, spend it on a Caribbean cruise, "forget" to remodel your bathroom, and deny the whole thing because there's no way to prove that they scammed you. If a contractor finds that they are the one getting stiffed, they could place a lien on your customer's property until payment is received. Neither is a good scenario, and might have been avoided by using a payment method which left a paper trail.

#3 You are inflexible

If you haven't already heard, the world doesn't revolve around you...or your schedule. Don't expect a good contractor (who probably has a busy schedule) to drop everything and start work on your major remodel by tomorrow morning. If you want quality work, you need to flexible with your time. (A contractor with nothing but time on their hands probably has time on their hands for a reason...) Sit down with your potential contractor, compare schedules, and come up with a plan that works best for both of you.

#2 You complain about everything

Some people are never matter what happens..... Don't be one of those people! You won't build a lasting relationship with a contractor by letting them spend two months on your new kitchen, only to have you criticize their work, make them tear out the custom cabinets, and then refuse to pay them until you get invited to be on a HGTV home improvement program. Contractors are only human, so unless you discover shoddy work or truly serious problems, keep the complaining to a minimum. You're more likely to get what you want it you make a contractor aware of your concerns politely.

#1 You threaten contractors with negative reviews

When you write a review of the services or an individual or company, it is meant to inform potential consumers; not punish a service provider because you weren't satisfied with their work. Contractors are keenly aware than a negative review can have a detrimental effect on business, so most will try to avoid earning one at all costs. This being said, you should never use the possibility of a negative review to get a contractor to bend to your will or work for free.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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