Why do Construction Franchises Fail?According to the statistics provided by the Federal Trade Commission and Qualified Remodeler Magazine , since 2001 home improvement contractors and the remodeling industry are responsible for the largest amount of consumer complaints. Home improvement contractors and construction franchises are responsible for more complaints than used car salesman and mortgage brokers! Among the shady industry practiced reported by customers are:
- Unskilled laborers to carry out their work resulting in poor craftsmanship.
- Low contractor experience in the project or field.
- Lowball bids to win projects and then jack up the cost later with “overruns.”
- No designs of customers vision.
- Lack of credentials – In the survey almost a fifth of general contractors lacked either a state license or the proper insurance, and 9 percent lacked both.
- No professionalism in initial interview. Too bossy, condescending, or rushed.
- Failure to provide an estimate in a timely manner.
- Failure to provide details in writing and/or guarantee their work.
- Failure to adhere to the agreed upon schedule.
- Lack of proper operations scheduling resulting in taking longer to complete a project than communicated.
- They don’t take the time needed to do the job right.
- They leave the yard and job site a mess, with little to no clean-up.
- Less involved once the work begins. Customer end up managing project themselves.
- Miscommunication and mismatched expectations.
Transblue, a commercial construction franchise, recommends the homeowner do the 4 following steps:>
Check Credentials –Traditional credentials like the contractors license, certificate of insurance and bonding information should always be checked, and todays online environment allows you to check real-world performance reviews submitted by actual customers.
Get References –Good reputation is not an easy thing to build up in a short period of time. It’s a good sign when the contractor invites you to see their completed projects. It’s a good sign when a construction franchise openly invites a customer to look at their website and reviews online.
Expect Design Layout –Communication between the design and project management team is important. A construction franchise that provides both the designa and construction plan will result in the lease amount of loss in translation, therefore resulting in a project that most closely aligns with your vision.
Listen to Your Gut –Developing a good rapport between yourself and your construction team is essential. For example, Transblue’s communications are enhanced via Transblue Connect, out proprietary software that allows clients to track scheduling, payments, change orders, and more!
7 Steps to consider when hiring a General Contractor Franchise?
At Transblue, we have been design, construction and contracting experts for 15 years. We have met with countless homeowners who have been the victim of a poor contracting job. It seems almost every week there is another contractor nightmare story we read about in the news. A lot of the time we are the ones called to fix these nightmare jobs where unresponsive contractors left off.
- How can homeowners protect themselves?
- Why are contractors so poor at servicing the consumer?
- What questions should a homeowner ask before hiring a contractor?
Below we have compiled a list of 7 steps to put in your back pocket when hiring a General Contractor franchise
- Communication is key – During your initial meeting with any general contractor, an important personality trait to consider is how they communicate with you. Ask yourself…
- Is this someone I can work with?
- Do I understand what the plan is?
- Do they understand my wants and needs?
If the answer is “No” to any of these questions, consider looking at other general contractor franchises.
- Understand the Ethics – Don’t undervalue the importance of dealing with an established, ethical partner. Be wary of an initial low price. An unethical contractor will hit you with additional costs that were not reflected in their original estimate.
- Get it in Writing – A written contract is an essential protection for all parties. A Transblue contract includes the full scope of the work featuring a detailed breakdown of costs for each part of the project.
- Guarantee of Work – Many contractors will say they guarantee their work, but is it 100% certain that they will do whatever is required to satisfy you completely? Transblue will not consider the work done until you are 100% satisfied with the end result! Expect 100% customer satisfaction from every general contractor, after all you’re the one who has to look at the project everyday… not the contractor.
- Stay Involved – Homeowner involvement throughout the project is critical. At Transblue we encourage in-person meetings every week and more frequent meetings at crucial points, such as the start of a featured installation.
- Have Clearly Stated Expectations – Some contractors come and go throughout the week, and sometimes you’re not sure where they are or when you’re going to see them again. Before starting any work, establish guidelines for:
- Hours of work.
- Cleanliness of the job site.
- Whom to contact when an immediate answer is needed.
- Communication method: E-mail maintains a paper trail, so no one forgets anything. Be sure to avoid after-hour calls.
- Correspondence: Create a dedicated folder for the project to easily track updates.
- Research & Give Referrals – Once work is completed and you are 100% satisfied with the project, take the time to leave an online review. Online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List are the main sites other customers will look for.
Final Thoughts –
When you make the decision to upgrade the exterior of your home, it is a joyous yet nervous time. On one hand, you will have the outdoor living space you’ve always of your dreams. On the other hand, it’s expensive, time consuming and a potentially harrowing process.
Transblue will help you eliminate the potential hazards by working with you, shoulder-to-shoulder, throughout the process. Choosing the wrong general contractor or always going with the lowest price can turn out to be the most expensive of mistakes. In the end, it should be about the experience and the quality, not solely about the budget.