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The Proverbial Dark Side of Home Improvement

How many of you know of at least one home renovation horror story? I know that I personally have heard my share over the years. Most recently, I read about a homeowner who hired a contractor to remodel their master bath en suite based on the quote they received. As far as the homeowner knew, the project went smoothly and without issue. They were delighted with the completed bathroom renovation until they were handed the final bill. The invoice was not at all what they expected and did not reflect the price originally agreed upon. Instead, they received a bill that was approximately $8,000 more! When questioned, the bathroom renovation contractor explained that the work involved was more than he anticipated and the bulk of the additional amount was to cover the cost of labor.

We have also all heard about contractors that will advertise or give you a price for something like an HVAC system but when they come out to your house, they present you with a higher price for the same product. Practices such as these are a form of “bait and switch”. The homeowner is baited with the quoted price and then either before the work commences or once the work has been completed, the cost balloons. It’s important to note that there is a difference between a contractor offering you the option of a better product that may be a few dollars more and one that is not providing you with anything other than what you asked for but has now changed the price. Also important to mention is that problems during a home improvement project may arise that will require additional work; however, a contractor should notify you of the issue, discuss the options and provide you with a change order to sign that explains the modifications to the original agreement and the cost associated with it.

The Damage Done

Because of the stories of dishonest practices, the thought of hiring a home improvement contractor for any sort of project can instill fear and induce high levels of anxiety. Of course not all contractors are to blame and I would venture to say that they majority are honest professionals who do not partake in shady and deceptive tactics. As a matter of fact, the trustworthy and hardworking contractors out there loathe those doing these types of things because it tends to reflect poorly on everyone in the industry.

I have touched on the bad reputation undeservingly cast on all home improvement contractors, but it is the homeowners affected by the actions of the deceitful service provider that I would like to emphasize. Putting aside the obvious issue of the money; a victim of a bad contractor will run through a gambit of emotions. Their self-esteem has suffered a blow and their feelings run from shame to anger. Being taken advantage of is psychologically damaging and it can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender or intelligence. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to combat this problem by having a service that looks out for you? Good news, ServiceWhale does just that and it’s free to use.

ServiceWhale Guarantee

The first step in protecting yourself when hiring someone to do home repairs or renovations is to find a licensed, reliable and reputable professional. This has always been your first line of defense and will always be. Unfortunately, this step taken on your own can be a very long and drawn out process. It can take you hours or even days to gather the information needed and to meet with individual contractors. ServiceWhale recognized the inefficiencies associated with this tried and true system and improved it. On our website, all of our contracting experts are pre-screened and their profiles are available for everyone to view. We provide you with their licensing information, accreditations, online ratings, areas of expertise and genuine reviews from prior customers. Everything you need can be easily found in one central location, dramatically reducing the time needed to make an informed decision about a contractor.

Secondly, it is recommended that a homeowner obtain at least three bids for their project. We’ve got you covered there too. After completing a handful of questions about the project you want to do, we’ll display multiple quotes from local ServiceWhale contractors without an onsite visit. Within the quote details, you’ll find a complete breakdown of the charge so you know exactly what is included and what the cost is. If you like what you see, you can book the contractor right from our website with zero down.

Last but certainly not least, once you book a project, it’s backed by our ServiceWhale Guarantee. An increase in the price for your project, ordered through ServiceWhale, can only happen if the scope of the work agreed to has changed. If the contractor tries to increase the price of the job without changing the project details, we’ll pay the difference! That’s right, ServiceWhale pays the difference, not you.

At ServiceWhale, we are looking out for you, the homeowner. To recap, you can find and compare vetted contractors and project quotes on ServiceWhale without inviting various contractors to your home. Our service is free for homeowners and ServiceWhale backs the price of the home improvement projects booked on our website with our guarantee. There’s no risk and there’s nothing to loose so give it a try the next time you need to make improvements or repairs to your home.


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