I have recently found the video channel of Phil Pustejovsky who has made a reputation as a professional real estate investor and educator. Below I've posted a video on his views of how to not get screwed by contractors. Now I'm not saying contractors are crooks or anything of the sort, but we do live in a real world where you pretty much have to keep an eye on everybody from every profession.
You just can't expect people to work for your best interests alone. They want to make money, which is great until you cross the line over to dishonesty and cheating your customers. In order to make sure things get done for a fair price, you have to stay alert and watch every stage of the process of any project, anything you spend money.
It doesn't matter if you are going to the doctor or buying a car. You better do your due diligence and know what's going on. Gone are the days when you just blindly let professionals of any area walk you through with confidence. Thankfully, we have the internet so we can do research and at least have an idea of what's going on in various sections of life.
7 Things to NEVER say to a Contractor
1.You're the only contractor. - If you tell a contractor they are the only one that can do what you need they can literally charge you whatever they want and take as much time doing it as they please. Get as many quotes on a job as possible as well.
2. My budget is _______ - Don't tell a contractor what your budget is. -If you tell them how much your budget is, expect to have the project cost that much every time. Instead get the quote, know what it is going to cost and control the process.
3. Never pay upfront before the job is done. - Phil Pustejovsky is so right about this one. This goes for anybody. Never pay until work is completely done. These days people have no incentive to keep working if they already have your money. I don't care if it is having your yard mowed or getting a haircut. Only pay when the job is finished.
4. I'm not in a hurry. - Never say that to anybody of any profession not unless you never want it done. Seriously, what will happen is you'll have to start calling and asking when is it going to get done before they'll even start to move on it. I know that sounds crazy, after all, don't they want to get paid, but that's been my own personal experience in life.
5. You choose the materials - You want to be the one to pick the materials to get what you want.
6. I don't care who does the work. - You have to be careful that everyone that is sub-contracted is insured for liability reasons, and you have to make sure the subs get paid.
As Phil Pustejovsky discusses in the video, you have to make sure that you get everything in writing. This way there's no doubt a week or month than the line what you expected to be done.