You never thought it would happen to you, but somehow you find yourself completely unsatisfied with your home renovation experience. Namely, you hired an outdoor deck specialist to construct a new deck for your home—something you considered and planned for carefully. But this so-called expert left you with more questions than answers, more problems than solutions. Now you have a deck that isn’t what you had in mind and isn’t what you paid for. Or perhaps the project ran way over budget and behind schedule, and the contractor did little (or nothing) to address your concerns and make things right.
No homeowner wants to find him or herself in this situation—but unfortunately, it does happen. There are contractors out there who care more about the immediate pay day than the long-term reputation. Often times these contractors haven’t been in business long—and probably won’t be for much longer, if they leave other customers as unhappy as you.
There are some important things you can do to prevent this from happening. Knowing what to look for when you’re choosing a renovation contractor is perhaps the most crucial. Being involved in your renovation, paying attention to detail, and expressing any doubts you have before and during the renovation process instead of after it—these are also important skills.
For the moment, though, we’re going to assume that your outdoor deck contractor blew it, and you find yourself wondering where to turn.
First, there’s the question of legality. If your contractor is in breach of contract in any way, you should explore every angle available to protect yourself—both as a consumer and as an intelligent homeowner who doesn’t appreciate being taken for a ride.
If legal recourse is not an option, your options are limited. It may not be exactly what you want to hear, but hiring a different contractor (one with a proven reputation) might be the logical next step. You can’t simply abandon your investment. If your deck needs adjustments or alterations, but you’ve simply had enough of the company who built the deck, a replacement contractor may be able to salvage your project for much less than the cost of tearing down the deck and starting over.
They might also be eager to bring you a positive experience, in order to collect their own positive review and strengthen their reputation. Homeowners can use this to their advantage—because ultimately, your endorsement is only going to come if they deliver across the board, including price point, service, administrative contacts, friendly builders, and a great final result on the outdoor deck.
If you feel you’ve drawn the short straw in terms of choosing a deck builder, and you’re not sure what steps to take, there are options available to you. At the very least, you can accept your unsatisfactory result and write a review that gives honest and valuable details on where the contractor fell short. Even better would be to find a way to transform your experience for the better by switching over to an upstanding, reputable builder who goes the extra mile to make you happy. In a marketplace with this much choice and competition, it’s the least you should expect.
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