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This is the first article in a two-part series. One of my friends who doesn’t live in Rockaway went through a major renovation last year. My friend interviewed at least three general contractors before choosing the cheapest one. The winning contractor had the best sales pitch. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the best choice. The project was a nightmare for the homeowner. The general contractor made many errors such as: ordering the wrong front door, installing the wrong size kitchen cabinets in the wrong spot, routinely coming in over budget, and routinely price gouging – overpricing many items. In at least one instance the zoning code wasn’t followed, and some work had to be redone.

My friend had thought that he was experienced and knowledgeable enough to decide on a contractor without “due diligence.” Proper “due diligence” includes talking with several people who’ve used the contractor AND actually seeing some of the contractor’s previous work – especially if you are planning a big job.

The major take-aways from this experience are: don’t fall for a sales pitch, properly check out the contractor, and don’t choose the cheapest vendor just because he’s cheap. You get what you pay for. Call me. Love, Robin

 By Robin Shapiro

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