Good vs. Not So Good Contractors

[Editor’s Note: see “Giving Good Invoice” for an update to this post.]

In my various capacities as a Realtor, remodeler/rehabber, homeowner, and neighbor, I’ve witnessed a wide range of contractor etiquette.

At one extreme, there are contractors who show up late, leave early, and seem to spend the time in between listening to inappropriate –and very LOUD — music. At best, their work (and prices) are so-so . . and they leave your home a mess.

At the other extreme, there are contractors who are consummate professionals from start to finish. They do excellent work at a fair price, start and finish the job on time, etc. After they’re done, you’d never even know they were there, but for the completed project.

At least so far, you’d guess my neighbor’s new contractor — who I’ve independently heard good things about — is in the latter camp.

I knew my neighbors were bumping out their Kitchen, because I’d shown them a few homes last Fall when they were in “buy or remodel” mode.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a “heads up” letter of introduction — complete with ear plugs(!) — from the contractor last week.

The letter, addressed to the immediate neighborhood, explained that the contractor’s employees would be working on the block the next few months, and would do their best to minimize the disruption, debris, etc. If there were any issues or problems, we were invited to call the project manager.

It may just be smart PR with an ulterior motive (getting more business) . . . but it’s pretty effective PR.

I’m sure my neighbor will let us know in a few months if the positive first impression was warranted.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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