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Why Take a Chance?

September 21, 1997

The Placentia remodelers ("This House Has a New Heart," Pardon Our Dust, Sept. 7) made some serious errors in judgment, and by printing this article with no caveats, you gave these mistakes your stamp of acceptability.

It's hard to believe that someone could call these homeowners up, come out and get them to sign a contract without their doing any checking.

They could at least have checked the contractor's references and found out what kind of work he did to see if it was what they wanted. A lot can be learned by visiting a previous customer. It reveals the kinds of materials and workmanship the contractor provides, which may or may not meet the homeowner's standards.

A prior customer can share perceptions of subcontractors and workmen, how the job was managed, cleanliness, timeliness and so many details that make a big difference. Talking to other remodeling contractors would provide more ideas for the use of the space, design and materials.

How could the homeowners not shop for the materials? There are several granite dealers in this area, where the slabs can be chosen before they are worked. There are appliances of different quality and features, sinks galore and on and on. It really pays to be educated and not just leave it up to someone else.

We started the same process two years ago. We checked out several remodelers and quickly realized that most would not put much effort into guiding us or making the finished product special. The contractor we chose is a detail man, and he did an outstanding job. Even then, we made a few mistakes, but it wasn't because the contractor led us astray.

I think your readers deserve to hear that it is best to check carefully before signing a contract. The people in the article were very lucky.



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