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Only 20% Up Front:


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While the price may be right, what about the terms of payment? In general, don’t choose a contractor who asks for more than 20 percent of the total cost of a job up front. While some projects require a large initial payment to cover a deposit for products like cabinets or special-order ceramic tile, it doesn’t apply to commodity materials like roofing and lumber, which a legitimate contractor will usually purchase on account with at least 30 days to pay.


Finally, a contractor who works on a cash- only basis raises a big red flag. Not only does paying in cash limit your financial recourse if problems arise, the contractor is likely not operating a legitimate business, which includes paying taxes and insurance. Look elsewhere for a professional to perform the work.


Beware Cash-Only Jobs:


A Parting Gift


Now that you have heeded these tips and know what to avoid, it’s time to invite your potential contractors to “Come on down and be the next contestant” at your next board meeting! What better way to compare companies offering similar proposals than to meet their representatives face- to-face? This affords the board the chance to get a feel for the vendor’s professionalism (or lack of!) and character, so that the board can be more comfortable with the selection. Having a contractor attend a board meeting gives the contractor the opportunity to present the proposal, clarify any ambiguous terms, and explain the repair or replacement process so those present know what to expect with the work to be done. There’s always something to be said for vendors who make themselves available for those evening meetings; it shows the vendor is more than willing to work with you and that they go the extra mile.


Considering this guidance during your next contractor selection exercise is like accumulating Plinko chips to be used to win more money…more money saved, that is!


This article was inspired by a piece from CAI National. For more information or to view related articles, please visit their website at: http://www.caionline.org.


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