The Home Improvement Nightmare-Who’s The culprit and How to avoid It

If you do not live in a remote the main country with no television, newspaper or other people to talk to, there is a good chance you have heard or read about a home improvement scam or project gone wrong. It seems to be a well known fact in this country that when you go about doing a home improvement project you will usually encounter countless problems, delays and poor work.

The home improvement experience leaves most people stressed and vowing never to do another project again! Therefore it is not surprising to know that home improvement complaints rank at the top of consumer complaints nationwide every year. Where does the responsibility fall for this crisis of home improvement problems?

I am proud to say I was a home improvement contractor for pretty much 30 years and I was fortunate enough to win some of the industry’s highest awards. However, it has never ceased to astonish me poor people home improvement decisions that we have witnessed so many homeowners make. One of the most notable mistakes I would see done over and over again was when a homeowner would blindly hire anyone to execute a project because the person was a friend or a friend of a friend. To me this reasoning makes no sense.

Friendship and craftsmanship are not related, but i really enjoy seeing a lot of people believe other wise. Another great example of homeowner apathy is hiring anyone to execute a project without ever putting anything on paper. Who in their right mind would ever agree to such a disastrous situation? Another very similar mistake would be for a homeowner to blindly accept an estimate on the back of a business card. Usually the only information that has room on the back of a business card is the PRICE.

A major mistake created by many people doing a home improvement project is letting price determine your choice on who to rent. More problems occur because homeowners pick the lowest price they can find. Why? It is very simple. You can only produce a top quality project at a certain cost. High quality materials, expert labor, appropriate insurance coverages and a reasonable profit to stay in business, cost a certain amount of money.

If someone can do that same project under that amount, what do you think is going to happen when the job is being done? That’s right, the person or company will perform anything they can to try and gain profits. All of the possibilities that could result from the person you hired, as the low bidder, trying to create a profit, are only all Harmful to the homeowner. In home improvements you get exactly what you pay for.

Let’s keep in mind to put some of the responsibility on people looking to work on your home. Over the years I have seen some of my competitors commit heinous business practices. (Surprise!! ) I have seen contractors switch materials to lesser quality without customer approval, use unqualified labor, overcharge homeowners for “unforeseen problems”, try to up sell the customer once the project starts, etc., etc., etc……. it enables you to wonder if you can trust anyone?

So how does the responsibility fall for the home improvement complaints every year? I guess it would be easy to responsibility the homeowner for not schooling themselves on what to do when attempting a project. However the next question would be where does a homeowner get “educated”? Why not a better question would be when does a homeowner find the time to get “educated”? Education is a great tool if you have the time to do the research. Most people don’t have the time or want to take the time to do hours and hours of research on what to go about getting a home improvement done correctly.

Oops I almost didn’t remember Uncle sam. A lot of people, including myself, think the costa rica government makes it too straightforward for someone, who has no life values or skills, to do home improvement work. Why are there still some states that do not have licensing for people doing home improvements? And in the usa that do have licensing, why are some of these states giving the necessary licenses without the applicant being forced to demonstrate almost any competence in home improvement work? This is like giving out a driver’s license without taking a road test. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

One last situation the culprit, one that I would never eliminate myself for not mentioning. Home improvement tv programs have become the latest fad in television. You can hardly change television channels without a home improvement program sprouting up. The say of home improvement shows on television has been phenomenal. However, most of these shows tend to unrealistically glorify the home improvement project as being easy regarding nothing ever going wrong. The last time I looked, nothing ever goes perfect, including home improvement projects. Little, if any information is mentioned on these shows, about how not to be “taken to the cleaners” when doing a project.

One must conclude that there is plenty of responsibility to go around when it comes to the difficulties homeowners face when attempting a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most of these problems have been around for many years and if you are expecting a “quick fix”, I think you might be waiting many years.

Since i retired from the home improvement industry two (2) years ago I decided it was time to stop worrying about who or what to responsibility about the constant trend of home improvement complaints (it really seems to be a waste of energy since nothing generally seems to change) and to put together a way for homeowners to fight back and get the home improvement results that they deserve.

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