The 3 Stages of Contractor Companies—and What You Can Expect as a Consumer

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There are a high number of different contractor companies that are helping homeowners to upgrade their homes one job at a time, but every company is different. As these companies form, grow, and reach new levels, what they bring to the table can change. 

“Do all contractors offer the same general pricing and services?”

“Actually, they don’t. Like any other industry, contractor companies follow different stages.”

Some companies offer simple and basic services, while others can leave you with 5-star service and all the upgrades you can dream of. Let’s explore what this looks like for contractors.

What Do We Mean By Levels?

Using levels to better understand contractors is a wonderful way to set your expectations. The levels that we are going to describe show you what kind of service, price, and quality you can generally expect when working with companies at their respective levels. If you can determine the level of a company during the research phase, you will find that you gain a better understanding of your project and what you can expect from it.

Stage One

The first stage for contractors is the most basic phase, and it is generally limited to new companies and smaller companies. A stage one contractor company will be able to provide a quality renovation in a lot of cases, but that doesn’t mean that they can turn your home into an HGTV set either.

“Do you think this team will be a good fit for our bathroom remodel? Their quote is way cheaper than anyone else’s.”

“Well, that can be a little tricky…”

Given their small size, stage one companies are often fairly limited in terms of what they offer. They will generally only handle standard renovations, and anything really specific might be beyond their capabilities, so it is important to understand what kind of services they are comfortable with. Hiring a stage one company to handle a dedicated, high-end renovation with all the bells and whistles likely won’t work out well. 

“I don’t know if they are the right fit. They’ve never done a project like ours before.”

This is one of those instances where you generally get what you pay for, but it is a selling point that stage one contractors do offer the lowest prices. It is just important to have realistic expectations.

Stage Two

When you look at stage two contractor companies, you’ll probably see exactly what you expect from a general contractor. These are customer-oriented, structured companies that do really great work—and they are considered the average, mid-sized contractors. 

Working with a stage two company can offer a really great experience. Not only do these companies give great results, but they also give you a little more insight into the process. These companies offer more of those nice-to-have features that people really love, and you can expect to be included every step of the way. 

“Wow, these contractors offer a ton of communication. That will be really nice, won’t it?”

“Definitely. My friend worked with a contractor that basically didn’t say a word after he signed the paper. It really freaked him out.”

The sense of understanding and control that you receive when working with a stage two company can make the process a lot more interesting and engaging. People love being able to check the status of the renovation using dedicated systems, and these experts generally offer project managers, a dedicated sales process, and other upgrades. 

Stage two contractor companies offer more, so you should expect to pay more. These companies offer that “standard rate” that you would expect when talking to different companies. They can handle standard remodels with great results at an affordable price in many cases.

Stage Three

The third stage for contractor companies is a stage that very few reach, especially during early years. These companies provide the highest standard of renovation services, and you will absolutely feel it when you work with them. With these teams, you can expect everything that comes with stage two companies—and a lot more.

“Okay, these contractors seem like they do a lot more than just renovation work…”

“That’s because they do. A stage three contractor goes the extra mile to offer you perks you didn’t even know you could get with a remodel.”

A stage three company will offer an experience that few others can. They don’t just offer incredible renovations, they are focused on providing a complete experience that goes well beyond what you might expect when investing in a home remodel. These are the experts that can provide those very specific, high-end remodels that you will see on tv. They have the highest level of resources and salaried employees that are dedicated to creating your dream space.

“Their portfolio is incredible! Look at all of these amazing projects!”

Given the level of expertise, it is understandable that stage three contractors are not always focused on offering multiple services. Many of them operate in very specific niches, and it is fairly common for them to have very specific focuses—like kitchens, bathrooms, or custom homes. 

“Whoa, look at this. If we work with this contractor, it says they’ll hire professional cleaners for our entire house!”

Where these companies really shine is their additional perks. Unlike stage one and stage two companies, these companies are often focused on providing more than just a standard renovation. They can offer a variety of luxury add-ons, like a thorough cleaning service, a free gift with your renovation, or even something as extravagant as having a professional chef serve you dinner in your new kitchen. They don’t just handle renovations, they create experiences.

“My bank account might not love it, but if I want that perfect HGTV kitchen, I need to be willing to pay for that level of expertise.”

Since stage three companies offer all of these additional benefits, cost is a big factor. You can expect to pay quite a bit of money while working with these companies, and their prices can go well beyond the range of other companies. Of course, if you want that perfect luxury renovation, that is something that you will need to pay for.

The Takeaway

Some companies transition from one stage to the next throughout their lifetimes, but others prefer to stay where they are. The majority of companies will fall in the stage two range, but that doesn’t mean that is the stage that you have to go with. Sometimes, stage one companies can handle certain projects. Other times, you need to call in the luxury experts. At the end of the day, it is all about finding the right fit for your renovation goals and your budget.

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