4 Reasons Cut-Rate Renovations Are Probably Too Good to Be True

Posted by Helene McQuaide on 20th July 2016

No one likes to spend more than necessary for a home remodeling project. Although it’s important to avoid companies that inflate prices, the old cliché “you get what you pay for” is important to keep in mind when you compare estimates. Consider these reasons to avoid cut-rate renovations before you automatically choose the lowest bidder.

Lower Prices May Mean Less Experience

The best way to learn something well is to do it over and over again. Along the way, you’ll make mistakes and learn how to avoid that particular problem in the future. Cut-rate companies may offer lower prices because they’re still in the learning phase – when mistakes are common. Do you really want to be one of their guinea pigs? You’ll pay more when you choose an experienced company, but you’ll also benefit from the remodeling contractor’s expertise.

The Contractor May Use Poor Quality Building Products

It’s easy to offer low prices if you use cheap products. Unfortunately, unless the contractor provides a very detailed quote, you probably won’t even know that the products he plans to use are inferior. Cheap floor tile may look great when it’s first installed, but after it’s exposed to frequent foot traffic, it may begin to crack or chip.

If you receive one quote that’s much lower than the rest, ask for a complete list of the products that will be used, then spend a little time doing research online to verify the quality of the products. It’s certainly possible to get an amazing deal, but it’s much more likely that the contractor plans to cut corners.

Key Components May Be Omitted

Unless you’re in the remodeling business, you probably don’t understand all of the intricacies involved in completing an unusual kitchen remodel or an addition. Cut-rate home contractors take advantage of your lack of knowledge by conveniently forgetting to include necessary steps or products unless you specifically ask for them. Reputable contractors understand that you aren’t a remodeling expert. Their estimates will include everything it takes to get the job done. Unless substantial problems are uncovered during the building process, there won’t be any surprises.

Permits! Who Needs Permits?!

You do. Permits definitely increase the cost of a remodeling project, but they help protect you from inferior workmanship. Skipping the permit process will save you money, but could cause problems when you sell your home. If the buyer’s bank finds out that work was done without permits, it may decline to offer a loan.

Unlicensed contractors can’t obtain permits. If you don’t see permit fees listed on your estimate, ask the contractor if he is licensed. Although he’ll probably tell you that licensing is unnecessary, don’t believe him. Before a contractor can become licensed, he must provide proof of insurance, complete a certain number of hours as an apprentice and pass a written test, in some cases. These requirements help ensure that contractors are qualified, experienced and knowledgeable.

Whether you need an estimate for kitchen remodeling in Fox Chapel or basement remodeling Mt. Lebanon, we’ll take the time to listen to your vision for your home and provide a detailed estimate that doesn’t leave anything out. Call us to set up a convenient time for your estimate.


Consumer Reports: Choosing a Contractor


Realtor Mag: Remodeling? Don’t Forget the Permit


U.S. News and World Report: How to Find the Right Contractor for the Job


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