Don's diatribe

Getting a quality, experienced contractor should be simple, right? It is, if you read the reviews AND check them out at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (see our license) then it can be. Unfortunately, some homeowners, looking for the cheapest price they can get, fail to take into account certain red flags. These unfortunate homeowners are often found leaving poor reviews on Facebook, Yelp, or another review platform.


I've seen it all too often. A cheap bid means the contractor is cutting corners somewhere. Generally, they're not able to give you the quality finish you're expecting due to many different reasons. They use inferior paint, don't put a thick enough coat on, are working "under the table" to avoid worker's comp, aren't insured, and more.

On this page you'll find some helpful thoughts and ideas about protecting yourself and your most valuable asset.

Did you know?

Did you  know when you use a referral service like Home Adviser that you are increasing the cost of your project?

Let me explain...

Referral services charge for every lead they send to a Contractor, and they also send that lead to no less than three contractors, Depending on what the project is, let's stay with painting, a complete house repaint is upwards of $50.00 per lead, So if I was to get 2 leads a week that would be over $5000.00 a year in my profits I need to make back just to break even. I would have to do at least six jobs that at $1500.00 each to make that back after you subtract the cost of doing business,

Now that does not mean your cost will be $50.00 bucks more because that what the contractor pays, You have to remember your contractor wont get all the jobs he gets leads for - remember three others got the same lead. I had been on these services for a while and quickly found that this was not a profitable system.

You might think that the benefits out weigh the cost - for example, the services do back round checks! Actually, they don't, and they don't do them on all the employees. With the turnover that a lot of contractors go through they can't be sure of who you might be letting into your home.

With a licensed contractor the state does this for the owner or the qualifying party. The bottom line is these services, whether Home Advisor, Angie List, or anyone else, they will cost you a lot of money.

Lowest price guarantee... LOL!

I see a lot of companies out there these days making statements like this more and more, "WE won't be under sold, bring me your best price and I will beat it." I wonder if the people looking at these companies understand what they are giving up? For instance when I go out to a customers house to give an estimate, I look at the entire job, ask the owner what they are looking for, evaluate the repairs to be done and work up a price. Sometimes this is more work than others.

If another company gives you an estimate for the same job and they are $200 more than mine, but then tells you he will beat anyone else's price, where is he cutting his cost? ( Quality, Product, Workmanship?????) Or is he just padding his bill????

Now that being said, there are going to be pricing differences because of overhead and size of the company you talk to. The bigger one may specialize in some kind of jobs and be able to give a better deal on that kind of work, where a small company may be more flexible on others.

The bottom line is you should be leary of someone who is willing to discount their price to beat out someone else. Most of the time you are the loser in that game. Painting your house is a big investment for most people. You should understand that there is no free lunch and you get what you pay for.

I have been painting for 17 years and in that time I have seen a lot of bad work and it often comes from watered down paint, bad prep work and shoddy workmanship.

Don't be a victim - hire a licensed, experienced professional!