Indeed it is true that most of the stories you hear about home renovations are replete with tales of cost overages, poor workmanship, delays, and even lawsuits. This is fairly typical and there are actually a number of good reasons the problems occur.

Most homeowners have little to no construction experience and even less experience dealing with contractors.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of residential renovation contractors are minimally qualified, minimally financed, and have a questionable work ethic. Many of these folks literally operate out of the back of their pickup truck while feigning a real business operation. In spite of this, a number of them end up doing an acceptable, if not a good job when all is said and done.

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The biggest and most consistent problem in this scenario is frankly the homeowner's desire to rely on verbal descriptions of the project as he sees it and on the contractor's promises to get him what he wants for a price they mutually agree on.

Typically there is little documentation of the project beyond a standard form agreement usually created and presented by the contractor. The homeowner knows that an attorney will charge a good bit to review the document and will likely add a lot of legal jargon to justify his fee, thus complicating the situation.

Again, the homeowner honestly wants to trust that the contractor is honest and competent and that he will perform as agreed so he ends up signing the written agreement assuming that all will be fine. Little does he know that this contract, created by or for the contractor, is not only extremely vague relative to the project at hand but is also weighted significantly in favor of the contractor in virtually any potential disagreement or conflict.

Often the lack of sufficient verbiage offers the implication or inference that the contractor is the professional in this situation, therefore the contractor's interpretation of almost any project-related item will be the correct one.