Homeowner’s Contractor Companion—a behind-the-curtain, BS-proof guide to the home improvement estimate, selection, and negotiation process 

I’m a salesman for a home-improvement contractor, Kraz Construction. I’m not a project consultant. I’m not an estimator. I’m not an energy savings specialist. I could call myself any or all of those things, but that would just be the standard nonsense you’d expect from a salesman. I know this because, as I said, I’m a salesman. 

But I try not to be a salesman. You know? The stereotypical salesman is the guy who talks your ear off—slick talker, showman, charmer, blah-blah-blah enthusiast, amirite? 

Even worse than that is the salesman friend. I never want to be that guy. You know the one I’m talking about. The guy who takes the “always be closing” mantra with him to barbecues and high school band concerts, and church. You can’t so much as talk to him about the weather without him trying to sell you an umbrella. The thought of being that pushy, annoying salesman to a total stranger is painful enough; being known as such I’m on my family and friends is a fate worse than death.

But I am a salesman, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Yes, I can get you “a deal” on your next home improvement project, what a total stranger can do that for you as well. In many cases, maybe even most cases, some stranger’s company may be a better fit for your needs. My ability to get you “a deal” is not the benefit I want to bring to any relationship. What I do think I can provide is something I’ve learned by being what a real salesman has taught me. 

In my experience, a real salesman doesn’t show and tell nearly as much as he observes and listens.I do my best to listen more than I talk and observe more than I show. And in this proces of taking in more information then I dispense, I’ve learned that what customers want more than windows or siding or new roofs is trust and ease and guidance to a real solution. While I can’t ensure a painless process no matter who comes in to your home to give you a quote, I can help you prepare for the process to give you the best chance at finding a contractor you can trust at the best value for you.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been developing a guide for homeowners to use when searching for a contractor. In it, I’m including:

  • How to prioritize projects 
  • What projects add the most value to your home
  • When is the best time to get which projects done
  • What to look for when choosing which contractor to contact
  • What questions to ask during an estimate
  • Common contractor myths
  • How to negotiate a price

And more. But not much more, that’s just a technique salesmen use to make you think there’s too much great information to list. 

I expect to have the guide complete this weekend. If you’d like to be notified when it is ready, please let me know, and I’ll email it when it’s ready. 

I don’t imagine I will be able to answer every question you may have, but I’m trying to make it as thorough as possible. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them personally. Email, call, or ask any questions you may have in the comments. and happy to help however I can. 

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