A company or a skilled worker, that is the question, when it comes to construction. It is a common belief that skilled workers or teams of workers are much cheaper that a construction company.
I agree that this is true at first site but only at first site. Very often reality proves to be different and the money, time and nerves cannot be restored.
Before I go on I would like to make a digression that the written here does not relate to all skilled workers. There are exceptions, people that know what they do, work professionally and customers are satisfied.
But this material referes to the majority of skilled workers in Bulgaria and what happens most often.
The above is just part of the things that usually happen when you work with skilled workers. Organizing and advancing your repair work or construction of a house is not impossible but a lot of knowledge in the field is required which only a builder with enough experience could have. Only reading in forums, watching video clips on the Internet or advice from friends that have constructed before you is far from enough and many mistakes can be made which will cost you an arm and a leg. Just think- if you are a doctor, legal professional, financier, software engineer, hotel keeper, professor or are engaged in another activity which has nothing to do with construction, you are not expected to be a profiled specialist in repair works or house building. This is logical. Your profile is different. Then the choice whether to work directly with a skilled worker or a team of workers would be quite risky considering your meager building knowledge. The probability of being misled or deceived is very high. Many workers, tempted to finish faster and to take their money, miss a number of important operations that can cost you a lot in time. Others, due to a lack of work, make up any type of redundant things under the excuse that they are very important and could not be omitted only in order to squeeze more money.
There are many people who are hard up, stuck in credits and loans who are ready for any type of work in order to make ends meet. Let us say he is a painter, this is his strong point but out of necessity he takes up water and sewerage in the bathroom and than putting faience. After that when there is a leakage or at best a tile or frieze askance or a badly made slope to the siphon, you will start thinking whether the lower price was worth it. You will hear all sorts of excuses for the bad quality, for example that the walls were askew, that the tile glue did not work , you name it. Not to mention delays and postponements. Their excuses are also innumerable. The most common are that their car has broken down, they have had a flat tyre, their identity card has expired, they are at the doctor’s and are not able to come today or the classical one that a relative of theirs is sick. That is, they touch a note of pity. Yes, this is sad, they often capitalize on their closed ones health or their own health so as to make an excuse for the delay or to get a bigger advance payment. The truth is that in 95% of the cases these ‘respectable’ skilled workers have started working on several sites simultaneously, they wonder how to get out of this and come úp with all sorts of stupidities in order to explain their absence. As if they were a victim of the whole global conspiracy and you must believe them and feel pity for them.
The meager offer is yet another hue for not choosing directly skilled workers. Offers are often hand-written and loose pieces of paper and a big part of the things have not been specified and if you do not know about construction you may be easily misled. In the course of work it is very likely to hear things like ‘so much work for this money’, ‘this is not included in the offer’, ‘for me this is quality work’ and the like. And some even become aggressive if you are not of the same opinion. Once having started work with them, it will be difficult to get unhooked, especially after you have made a financial commitment. And in order to get the desired quality, you will have to pay additionally and to swallow the bitter pill.
Guarantee is another thing I would like to pay attention to. Many skilled workers , not to say all of them, provide just an oral guarantee but not a written one. That is to say-none, only empty words, empty promises. If you request such, they get offended, get touched emotionally as if after all they have done for you , you do not trust them. But even if you get a written guarantee after long discussions, most often hand-written illegibly and with a number of spelling mistakes, it will not have any legal value, just because the skilled worker is not a legal person.
And most probably you may not have concluded a contract with them. That is – your word against theirs. And , heaven forbid, if tomorrow there is a problem, it is not at all known whether you will find them and whether they have not changed their number. This often happens with most workers. And if they are from the country and have the kindness to come, you will have to pay for the travel and overnight expenses because most probably they will say that they have no money to come.
Of course a company also works with skilled workers, things do not happen by magic. But when a skilled worker is under the supervision of a company that knows what it does, then disagreements and problems can hardly arise. Especially if work is done with people that have been tested and have proven themselves in time. Moreover- the company bears moral and legal responsibility so that the risk of something happening not as planned has been brought down to minimum.
In any case perhaps here is the place to say a few words on companies. The truth is that there are rotten apples in any basket. As with individual skilled workers , there are workers who are good and such that are not. There are all types of eloquent swindlers that may promise you the moon and the moment they get an advance payment, they suddenly become very busy and uninterested. In other words, their attitude changes drastically. I have seen companies with very simple websites, some of them with links that do not work where when you go to gallery, you see pictures of pompous business buildings, wholly completed, without any sequence in the construction. I can also go to Bulgaria blvd. or Tsarigradsko shosse and shoot quickly with the phone a few pictures of the most interesting and impressive buildings and then claim that I have built them. Others, however, offer unreally low prices for sites only to get in touch with the client and then to start making a fool of them. And tomorrow when you ask them to give you a reference or to show you a site, they will immediately come up with something only to avoid this.
The abovementioned is just a small part of the things that one should be careful with in the selection of a contractor, be it a company or a skilled worker. Little things are meaningful .Constant showing off, words without substance, the lack of an office and meetings in cheap cafes, repeating numerous times that there will not be any problems, shilly-shallying, talking in a roundabout way, etc. I have personally always relied on my intuition in taking important decisions and the decision to entrust someone with your savings for the construction of a new home, I think, is more than important. The only more important thing is to choose your partner in life, a person with whom to make a family and to enjoy your old age but even then you will need a home where to live and warm yourself near the family fireplace.