Being one of the most fractured industries in the United States, the residential remodeling market is a tough one to navigate for homeowners. Statistically, 69% of the remodeling companies have no employees, most doing under $100,000 annually, and during any given year, 1 out 5 remodeling companies enter the market while another 1 in 5 goes out of business. These numbers highlight the significant challenges consumers face when searching for a qualified contractor.
To make matters worse, many remodeling companies, big and small, use sales tactics that are not in the best interest of the homeowner. Here are three go-to-market techniques these companies use, some of which are downright unethical:
Not Obtaining Permits or Complying to Local Codes
The first is not pulling permits at the beginning of the project. Companies who do this will sometimes promote this as an added benefit under the guise of financial savings to the homeowner. There are three problems with this. (1) This is illegal in most municipalities for projects of any significant size, especially in the St. Louis metropolitan area. (2) The work being done is most likely not following the latest and safest building practices. (3) The homeowner is at notable risk. The remodeling project could be shut down by the local authorities and be required to have the work redone costing much more money. The homeowner is also exposed to possible lawsuits if the house is sold with work that was completed without permits.
Providing an Incomplete Work Scope
The second sales tactic is to intentionally present a scope of work that is incomplete. The contractor is often after the work “by hook or by crook.” When a homeowner agrees to move forward with a remodeler who uses this tactic, the project often has significant cost overruns in the form of change orders. The project can also be delayed due to new decisions needed from the homeowner during the process, decisions that should have been made before the construction started. This tactic is also used by some companies with showrooms. The homeowner goes into a showroom and is convinced to sign on the dotted line before a company representative has even looked at their home. In these situations, it is nearly impossible for the contractor to develop a complete and accurate scope of work because the existing conditions of the house have not been properly examined. And, photos alone are not enough to determine these conditions.
Allowing Inexperience to Delay The Project & Increase Cost
The last is less of a tactic but more a lack of experience. In this case, the remodeling company does not have the experience to know better, and like tactic two, the remodeling company offers the homeowner an incomplete scope of work. The inexperience typically comes to light during the project, and the customer pays for it in cost overruns and delays. This can be aggravated when the smaller contractor takes on too many projects and delays become more of the issue than the additional expenses incurred by the homeowner.
These three situations many times lure the homeowner into signing a contract because of an attractive price. In the end, the customer experiences a lot of frustration with cost overruns and time being robbed from them. Homeowners must beware of these tactics, and when a price tag for work comes in higher than other competing companies, they should not immediately turn away, because they may be seeing the truth upfront.
At Mosby Building Arts we strive to give our clients the truth upfront, allowing for a more transparent and smoother remodeling process. For over 70 years Mosy has been a leader in the St. Louis remodeling industry. If you wish to meet with a Mosby Home Consultant about your remodeling project, give us a call at 314-909-1800. Or contact us here.