Earlier this year TravertineInfo.com conducted a survey of 298 home-owners who had recently renovated their homes with some help from Survata.com.
The respondents were asked a series of questions, based around whether people renovating their homes were using contractors or DIY. In addition we wanted to know whether or not they were satisfied with their experiences with contractors, as well as other factors for similar renovations like time of completion and cost. The issue of contractors leaving a “bad taste” in the renovations they were helping facilitate has become a hot topic issue in the industry and has even been turned into a TV show on Spike called Catch a Contractor. Below are the questions given to the respondents.
Type of Renovation?
Price of Renovation?
How Long Did it Take?
Did You Hire a Contractor?
If So, Were You Satisfied?
Would You Consider Using a Contractor For Your Next Project or simply DIY?
What Recommendations Would You Have For Someone Considering Hiring a Contractor?
From the information we gathered we found that those who had used a contractor spent on average about 30% more on similar renovations, in addition we found that those who used contractors also took about 15% longer.
In the open ended area of the survey we asked respondents to give some suggestions to people looking to hire contractors, here are some of the more memorable responses:
“Avoid hiring a contractor that has no referal base. Avoid a contractor who is not licensed and insured. Avoid doing business on a hand shake. Have a contract. Make sure the contractor sticks to their part of the contract.”
“Check with the BBB, before enlisting a contractor.”
“Careful of perfectionistic relatives DIYing it!”
“Being talked into renovations that they neither need nor really want. The” extras”.”
“Get references. Check those references for timeliness of work, professionalism, and quality of work done.”
“References, references, references! Also double check prices. Actually, some of our renovations involved contractors (& subs) & some were DIY- because we could do a better job- period, or a better job for the cost. For the record, my degree is in interior design & my husband is a property adjuster (so he knows a lot of contractors). The answers were either/ or so both weren’t quite accurate.”
“Carefully consider credentials, contact references, and never pay in full before the job is complete.”
“Be sure to specify all the work in the contract, as well as a time frame. Compare the work’s progress against the list before each payment. Make sure to get a bunch of estimates before starting work – interviewing at least 3 contractors helps find whom you can best work with.”
“Word of mouth is always best.”