We have a confession to make.
Not every one of our contractors is perfect. They won’t all do a flawless job, and they won’t always get things done quickly.
This is about one contractor who does a less-than-perfect job. Even so, there are projects that we’ll gladly recommend him for.
Paul replaced the shower in my own rental apartment in 2015. He has completed several projects for us since. Like anyone, he has many strengths and shortcomings. As with any contractor, you’ll need to think carefully about whether he’s a good fit for your project. Consider the pros and cons.
First, the positives:
One of the best things about Paul is that he can quote the price of a job in minutes, and he will do the work for that price, to the penny. No changes, no upcharges, no corrections, and no oversights will come up. You can trust the price quoted.
That price is usually half of what a full general contractor outfit would charge. This is because he does all the work himself.
And he does quality work.
He will be off on his timing. You have to multiply his timing by three. If he says three weeks, it will be nine.
He has ADD and hyper focuses. When he is focused, nothing else exists in the world, and he is 100% consumed by the work. It’s truly extraordinary to see how much he understands and remembers about each job. When he is no longer focused, it’s difficult to get him back on board. For example, he didn’t have the right size hose for the handheld shower head in my shower. He came back with the correct hose almost a year later. That’s almost one full year that the job wasn’t 100% complete. So you have to plan on, and be ok with, the job being 98% done for a very long time.
He needs to get paid weekly, and quickly. If we delay payments even a day, for any reason, it causes the job to go off the rails and get delayed.
He is not a perfectionist. He leaves tools all over the place and makes a mess. That lack of perfection extends to the final product, too.
That’s why it’s important to be completely informed when you hire a contractor like Paul. One client who hired him for a master bath was very unhappy at a slight change in the color of the grout in the corners of their bath and flaking grout behind the sink. With lower-cost contractors, this sort of thing happens. That’s because you are paying half what a perfect crew will charge.
Paul bid $30,000 for that bathroom. We have another crew in the area, a family business with one person in the office, another in the field, some employees, and a bunch of subcontractors. They have built up a great reputation over decades, and they bid $65,000 for the same bathroom. Since the clients wanted to pay $30,000, not $65,000, they wound up with a solid, but less-than-perfect job. (The $65,000 crew would have gone back to the store to get the perfect grout.)
Here are the pictures of what made them unhappy (after the timing being way off and the bathroom being a mess.)
Should you hire Paul?
For some people, the answer is yes. He’s a very easy guy to like and to work with if you are OK with everything mentioned above. I’ve hired him multiple times to work on my own home, and I’ll hire him again. He’s the right contractor for many jobs.
When you use a lower-cost contractor, you’re not getting a free ride or half off. You’re getting a different experience. The job will take longer and might cause you a bit of stress. Your final product won’t be perfect. But, it’s a great value and you’re getting high-quality work.
If you want a much lower cost and can live with a great—but not perfect—final product, Paul may be the right contractor for you.
You get what you pay for. It may sound trite, but in construction, it’s 100% true.
There are quality contractors who will work for lower prices but don’t get everything perfect. They’re good to work with if you want solid, professional work at a lower price and are willing to put up with some imperfections.
There are also quality contractors who work for much higher prices and do everything they can to achieve perfection.
The contractor you choose should be the right balance of budget and quality for you and your project. New Avenue will pair you with the contractor that’s right for your job. We have a network of professionals to draw from, and we make sure you get the people you need. No matter which New Avenue contractor you work with, you will get long-lasting, quality work.
Schedule your complimentary call with a project manager, and we’ll help you choose the right contractor for your job.