Dealing with Problems with Contractors in Victoria

 

Renovation Pain: How to Avoid Renovating Problems in Victoria BC

 

Easy Job Quote.com is a marketplace that gets contractors in Victoria to compete for your home improvement job.  This innovative approach came about after discussions with home owners in Victoria revealed that the same problems kept popping up over and over again during the renovation process.

Our research into the problems that come out during home renovations pointed to several causes that, when combined, add up combine to make for a stressful renovation.  Dealing with contractors in Victoria should not be this difficult, yet every day there are home owners losing sleep, overspending, not getting what they want, and stressing out during their renovation.

Here are the main pain points that were uncovered during our research into the problem.

 

Where to Start?

The Problem:  Finding a contractor is difficult, and knowing where to look is the problem.  Everyone knows that we are supposed to find between 3 and 5 contractors so that we can invite competitive bids, but this is not always that easy. 

Many people start by looking for referrals.  We start by asking people we know who have had a successful renovation.  We believe that if their contractor was good, then he will be good for us.  We also ask professionals whom we think might know contractors in Victoria.  We ask our realtor, our mortgage expert, our designer, our local hardware store.

If this fails, then we start looking on the internet, or in the Yellow Pages.  If you start doing this, then your likelihood of finding a great contractor drops significantly, which means that we have to start calling even more of them.

All of this is very stressful.  Just starting the process of looking for a contractor can turn the dream of a wonderful home renovation into a nightmare.

The Solution:  Easy Job Quote.com takes this step out of the normal process.  You only need to find us, and you get access to many of the contractors in Victoria.  This approach makes it much easier to attract competitive attention to your job.  One call does it all.

 

Meeting with Contractors

The Problem:  Meeting with contractors takes a lot of time.  If you need to meet with 3 contractors, and you want each one to submit a bid, this normally means at least 7 appointments or contacts with them.  You will need to take a half day off work to meet with each one the first time, and then again when they present their bids.  You will need to meet with the winning bidder to let them know they won the job, and go over the contract with them.

The number of appointments you need to make go up even more if you invite more than 3 contractors, and even more again if you attempt to negotiate the price with any of them.

This is an incredible amount of time for you to spend with contractors, and can often lead to frustration as the home owner looks for short cuts.

The Solution:  Meet once with Easy Job Quote.com.  Our service is designed to go through the entire contractor selection process, with only one visit to your home.  We prepare the job for tender on the first visit, so you can get back to more important things and let us take care of sharing your vision with contractors.

Our professional estimator will prepare the tender so that each of the contractors bidding on your job have a perfect understanding of what needs to be done.

 

Scoping the Job

The Problem:  Scoping the job is a difficult task for a home owner to do, unless they have an advanced understanding of residential construction.  Scoping the job requires that the job be measured and described, so that each of the components, and each of the stages are fully defined.  This way the bid price will be competitive from one contractor to another.

A common tactic of shady contractors is to change the scope of the job so that their bid will appear competitive to the home owner.  Once the home owner chooses the low bidder, the contractor “uncovers” additional work that was already included in the scope of work proposed by other contractors.  The price then goes up and can often increase beyond the bid price of the other contractors who originally included the additional work in their bid.

The Solution:  Easy Job Quote.com has professional tender preparation experts, who tender the job for the home owner.  Our estimator will define the scope of work, and ensure that each of the contractors submits a bid ion the same scope of work.  This prevents abusive tactics, and ensures the home owner gets an apples to apples comparison.

 

Sizing Up the Home Owner

The Problem:  Home owners invite contractors to size of the job before they submit a bid.  Some contractors submit bids that are based on what they think the home owner will accept.  There have been cases where the bids go up for the same job in a more expensive neighbourhood, or when the contractor thinks the home owner doesn’t know about how much things cost.

The Solution:  The contractors submitting the bids in Easy Job Quote.com will never be able to size you up, because they only see the tendered job.  This prevents bias, abuse, or shady tactics designed to drive up the bid price that you receive.

 

Multiple Bids

The Problem:  Getting competing bids can be a challenge, especially for smaller jobs.  Many contractors are busy working on jobs when they receive the call about a new job.  It is difficult to walk away from work to go and submit a bid, which leaves home owners waiting around for contractors who show up late, or not at all.  Small jobs are particularly difficult for contractors, as the time it takes to submit a bid is often more costly than the profit they could make if they won the job.

The Solution:  We guarantee that you will receive at least 3 bids.  This means that you get competition, and therefore a competitive price for your job.  We offer this guarantee on all jobs, including smaller jobs.  This means that you can get contractors competing for your small roofing job on your shed.

 

Timeliness

The Problem:  Contractors sometimes move at their own pace, which is frustrating for the home owner looking to make a decision.  Some home owners have waited months for bids to come in, which can case all sorts of stress and anxiety.  Contractors don’t get paid for the time they spend writing up and submitting a bid to a home owner.  Contractors get paid by working on the job.  For this reason, contractors in Victoria have developed a reputation for taking their time in the bidding process.

The Solution:  We set the schedule, and often have the bids returned within 2 weeks.  We make it easy for contractors to submit bids for jobs by allowing them to view the tendered job online, 24 hours a day.  This means that the contractor never needs to leave the job site to line up new work.  They can set a weekly routine, such as bidding on jobs Saturday mornings.  This way, home owners get multiple bids from high quality contractors quickly, without causing the contractors to spend time away from their current jobs.

 

Filtering Contractors

The Problem:  How do you find out which contractors are good, and which ones aren’t?  One solution that is used often is to “pre-screen” contractors, or to give them a stamp of approval.  In most scenarios, the stamp of approval is provided by an automated process, which does not actually measure how good a contractor is, only whether he meets the pre-determined criteria for judgment.

This approach can filter out great contractors, who may not be great business men, due to a lack of administrative sophistication.  This approach can also give “approval” to poor contractors, who may be excellent business men, and know how to work within the bounds of the systemic structure set up to provide judgement on people.

The Solution:  We do not attempt to “pre-screen” contractors.  Instead, we create an open marketplace where your reputation sticks to you.  This way, great contractors can earn a great reputation, while poor contractors earn a poor one.  This approach deters poor contractors, and attracts good ones.  Much simpler, and much more effective.

 

Negotiating the Price

The Problem:  Negotiating the price of your renovation is very difficult, as most home owners are not familiar with the cost of renovations.  This makes negotiations very stressful.  A home owner may demand a price reduction, and they may even receive it, but the price may still be double the competitive price for the job.

The Solution:  We get contractors to compete head to head, in a double blind competitive bidding process.  This means that contractors will get to submit a single bid, their best one.  No contractor gets to know another contractors bid, so the price they submit will be based on the cost for them to complete the job, plus a reasonable level of profit.  Contractors who do not control their costs will have to accept lower profits to remain competitive, and contractors who price in too much profit will be unlikely to win the bid if their price goes too high.

 

Finding References

The Problem:  It is very hard to find reliable, objective, and current references about contractors in Victoria.  Home owners are looking for a lot of information, so they know what to expect from the contractors who are bidding on their job.  Doing a good job is important, but so is the way a contractor behaves, or whether he shows up on time, as well as other important factors.

The Solution:  We collect detailed reviews on every contractor in our marketplace, and we attach these reviews to each of the bids.  We collect information on Punctuality, Cleanliness, Behavior, Quality of Work, and Likelihood to Recommend.  Each contractor must provide Easy Job Quote.com with at least 5 references just to start bidding.  These references are contacted by our staff, so that the information is objective and trustworthy.

 

Inspecting Quality of Work

The Problem:  It is difficult to inspect the quality of work from a photograph.  It is common for contractors to show photographs of their past work to home owners when they attempt to bid on jobs.  These images can be selected because they showcase some of the best work done, and are designed to appeal to the home owner so they will feel good choosing the contractor for their own job.

The Solution:  We ask home owners who have had work done in the past to rate the contractors quality of work.  This is the best way to rate the quality of work, as the home owner has paid good money to receive it, and they have had a chance to live with it in their home.

 

Comparison

The Problem:  It is difficult to tell a good contractor from a bad one.  Often, home owners make decisions based on how nice, or friendly they thought the contractor was.  The feeling of confidence does not always correlate to the quality of the contractor.

The Solution:  By providing home owners with important data, all up front, they can easily compare contractors and choose a great one to do their work.  We provide home owners with price comparison, terms and conditions comparison, profile comparison, and ratings comparison.

 

Rejecting the Losers

The Problem:  Home owners feel stressed about notifying contractors that they did not get the job.  Contractors will spend several hours visiting a job site, and a few more hours preparing the bid.  Home owners feel bad when they need to inform the contractor that his efforts did not result in a job. 

The Solution:  We do this for you.  Every contractor who bids on a job receives a bidding report once the home owner has made a selection.  This report is anonymous, but it provides the contractor with insight into how competitive his bid was, relative to the bid price, the terms and conditions, and how he was rated by home owners.

 

Writing a Contract

The Problem:  Home owners are not experts at preparing contracts, and neither are contractors.  Poor contracts can lead to conflicts, poor work, and cost overruns.  Drawing up a professional contract is costly.

The Solution:  We provide each party with a copy of the contract, so there is no confusion about what is to be done, how it is to be done, who is doing it, and how much it will cost.

 

Preparing for Issues

The Problem:  Additional work happens for two reasons.  Additional work can be uncovered, such as discovering old wiring that needs to be dealt with, or rot in the wall.  This means more money, and delays to the construction process, as many of the trades that have been lined up will have to be rescheduled.  Additional work can also be added by the home owner, often because they wish to combine multiple jobs into one construction project.

The Solution:  We prepare both home owners and contractors for some of the common issues that can arise during the construction process.  Our contracts prepare for some contingencies, and set the process for dealing with additional work that might pop up.