If you have been dreaming of a new kitchen but always though the high price tag was too far out of reach, then this will be the most eye opening short story you have ever read.
In 1995 Mrs. Hicks was helping an old friend remodel a house and dealing with contractors was becoming a financial nightmare.
From the start she was having problems getting contractors to give her fair price quotes and even worse…
…when they showed up some proved to be unreliable and others completely deceptive.
To make the situation even worse they were charging her and arm and a leg for their “services”.
What a rip!
What she needed was a place to dig up their background to see how delighted or how outraged their previous clients were.
Once she knew what sort of skeletons they had in their closet she knew how to drive down costs by getting them to compete against one another for her business. More on that in just a minute.
Unfortunately, no such thing existed in 1995.
But that wasn’t going to deter her. She never wanted another woman, especially a single woman like herself, to deal with any of these abusive practices ever again.
So what did she do?
She built one!
She was determined to make sure woman like her could confidently hire contractors and feel comfortable knowing they were getting the lowest possible price.
Today that service has blossomed. It has grown from its’ small roots and is now being used by single woman, Moms (both single and married), grandmas and grandpas, working Dads, stay at home Moms (you get the idea) across the country. Three million of them in total!
BTW – It’s way more than just a database of quality contractors now.
Here’s what those 3 million people are getting:
- Home improvement contractor reviews for every state in the country so you never have to wonder if the person on the other end of the phone has your best interest in mind or theirs.
- Landscape contractor reviews so that you can be sure they’ll show up to cut your lawn and pull your weeds on time.
- Reviews of car repair and auto body shops because having a mechanic you can trust not to charge you for unnecessary repairs will help you keep some of your hard earned cash in your checking account.
- A database of how your neighbors feel about the local doctors and dentists in town. The time will come when you’ll need a specialist because your general practitioner isn’t sure what to do. Do you want to leave it to chance?
- Exclusive discounts that can’t be found outside of their club. For example you could get an email tomorrow for $300 off of $600 of masonry work around your home. You can instantly check the reviews of the local company that’s offering the coupon and if they are up to snuff you can get $300 in free work done.
- A monthly magazine to make sure you know exactly how to leverage the service to make sure you know exactly how to save the most money on your projects.
- Access to their complaint resolution department so that on the off chance you have a negative experience with a contractor they’ll help you resolve it.
There’s just one problem that I can see.
She has started accepting money from contractors to give their business higher visibility.
But since now you’re aware of it there’s an easy way to tell which one are “sponsored” or whatever they are calling it.
There seems to be a coupon attached to every single one of these paid listings. I think they should be labeled as sponsored in an effort to be fully transparent but since you know about it and know how to easily identify it you can skip right past those if you want.
When you do that you’ll notice that the grade of the companies go from A down to usually B in the sponsored listings. Each one of those will have an available coupon. Suddenly the coupons disappear and you start at a grade of A again. Those are the regular listings. I recommend you read about those companies first.
How To Get Reliable Companies To Lower Their Prices And Compete For Your Business
You’re going to be stunned by just how much different some of these prices are going to be. And then you’ll be flabbergasted when you see just how much lower some contractors are willing to go after they give you the initial price.
Some are so desperate for work at certain times a year they are forced to take jobs that don’t turn a profit. That way they can continue to pay their employees and keep their company from going belly up.
The key to this is having a handful of companies you know you can rely on to make your kitchen remodel come out perfectly. Once you do the next thing to do is make them compete for your business.
You need to get quotes and the more the better. Make sure that you casually mention during your initial conversation that you are getting prices from multiple companies from the database. That way they know they need to offer you a competitive price.
The more quotes you get the better. Just getting one or two will leave you open to being taken advantage of. You don’t need ten but please get at least three. Four or five is better and will help you to get a better handle on exactly what your project should really cost.
When you get your quotes back from the contractors one is almost always much higher or much lower than the rest. Immediately toss any out that are not inline with the rest.
Take the lowest quote and call back the next closest guy. Be open with them and let them know you got a better price and ask them to give you their best and lowest price. You can do it with as many of them as you want but don’t ask each one more than once. It’s just poor form.
Protect Your Money Even More
Once you choose someone to build your new kitchen you are going to have to give some sort of retainer up front. Just enough to that they can buy some raw materials and be confident that they will be able to continue to pay their employees for the work they do until you give them another milestone payment.
A couple of the handymen that I found on the site didn’t want any money up front. They operated on a handshake and only wanted to be paid in full when the job was done. This is not something that’s reflected in the reviews but something that you learn about them during the interview process. It’s refreshing and builds trust.
For small jobs look to pay about half up front and the other half when the job is completely done. Don’t give the second half of the payment out until you are completely satisfied. If they insist on getting paid, that’s fine, but hold back 10% or so until you are totally satisfied. Once you give them all of the money it’s very hard to get them to come back to fix any little nagging issues.
If the job is larger, like a complete kitchen overhaul, break the payments up into a few milestone payments. Four should be enough, but three is ok too. Milestones should be set something like this: 30% when the bathroom is demolition and rough trades are completed, 30% when the tub, sheet rock, and tile are complete, and 30% when all the fixtures are in. And then you can release the final 10% when they are completely done.
You Can Access The List For 20% Less Than What Everyone Else Has To Pay
I have a totally free option for you too but let me show you where to get this 20% deal first.
They sent me this coupon code months ago and it hasn’t expired yet. I hope it never does but it could tomorrow for all I know.
It’s SAVE20 and here is where you sign up. Just put in the coupon code at checkout for instant savings.
Now the free option I mentioned will allow you to get lot’s of quotes and then for you to pit the best ones against one another to get a rock bottom price. But what it won’t allow you to do is get reviews. Your best bet for checking the track record of these is to use the Better Business Bureau.
It’s not as reliable because people only leave negative reviews on the BBB when they are really angry and you don’t get to hear about all the happy customers they have had. But this option is totally free.
They keep an extremely large database as well but every contractor that’s in there pays to be included and there are no reviews to read.
That’s very different from the 20% off option above where nearly all of the listings and reviews are placed by members of the community.
So now you have two options and a very powerful way to get them to come down in price. I laid out all of the benefits of the first one above (don’t forget to use SAVE20 at checkout to save 20%).
Try the completely free option and fill in your basic project information in the form below. It’s just two steps and then you’ll get matched to pre-screened contractors that will be a good fit for you project. You’ll be able to get enough quotes to pit them against one another and make your new kitchen much more affordable than you had ever imagined.