As a Brandon Property Management company, I just recently hired two general contractors for two different projects. Both had done work for our companies over the years and had good reputations, but it was the first time I hired them for some personal construction projects.
One of them, I hired to add some windows and move a sliding glass door. It required some block work and some advanced carpentry work. The 2nd GC I hired to renovate a house I bought as a Brandon Property Manager which he agreed to do for $35,000.
The quality of the work for both projects were excellent. The time frames were delayed. This is where normal folks start getting upset, and I must admit it does bother me a bit. In this case, I didn’t give either one of them a hard time, because I could clearly see the quality and attention to detail was superb.
I also have a partner who is a general contractor and he has told me renovations always take longer and cost more, because once you open-up the walls, you always find more stuff wrong.
However, when I got the bills from both, I was annoyed because the change orders were higher then expressed to me during the projects. So, I did what I usually do when I’m thinking of engaging in an aggressive argument, I talk to my very calm, Buddha-like patient, partner, Chris.
He explained that I can’t have the same standard for a general contractor that I have for myself. They are working in hot, dirty environments all day and dealing with surly sub-contractors that don’t show up and give them hassles all the time. When they get home after a working 12-hour day, they attempt to do their paperwork and billing. This is why they are so often disorganized and change orders can come in higher than originally expressed.
Granted the GCs’ must have integrity, but it is easy to see how change orders