What is it with general contractors? It’s been almost two months and I still haven’t been able to start work on the house.
I thought that if I devoted all of my time and energy on making sure I had my ducks in a row then I’d have the smoothest home renovation in the history of home renovations.
Without further ado, my general contractor saga that has spanned two months (which, when you can’t move in until after construction is complete, feels like decades):
General Contractor #1
I had this guy picked out even before we closed. He had built a friend’s house and I thought it looked wonderful. Based on her home, I could tell that he would pull off a transitional style well. After meeting with him several times, over a period of several weeks, to discuss in detail what I wanted, we finally agreed on a price for the work to be completed.
He sent me the contract to review and left out the labor cost for installing kitchen cabinets. This wouldn’t normally be so appalling except for the fact that he knew the place I was purchasing cabinets from did not install cabinets and he had already quoted me 40K for labor!
I had also ignored several red flags from this particular GC but this was the last straw. Most alarmingly, he refused to itemize the work that he was doing and instead gave me a quote for each section of the house. When I asked him to break down the costs, he told me it would be a waste of his time to type everything up. I was basically going on goodwill and trust which I now realize was my folly.
General Contractor #2
After the prior fiasco, I immediately went on Angie’s List and started researching companies with good reviews. I found one with excellent reviews and was able to set up an appointment immediately. The guy came to the house and we went over all of the work to be done.
I received a quote the next day with a 7-page itemized breakdown of parts and labor. Not only that, the quote was significantly less than the first GC. It was like a dream come true!
I told him that I would love to go with his company and asked him to send me the contract to sign.
The day after, he told me that his boss was confused about the scope of the work and that they could not do the job as quoted. They were not making enough money. I asked him to give me a new quote but our relationship quickly deteriorated after that.