Who do you trust to build a dream?

Initially finding contractors is a chore. You can go through the list of resources like internet, phonebook, bookstores, magazines, trade shows, associations and talking with friends and acquaintances with little results. The sources you do find will tend to be middle men looking to get a commission for introducing you to the people you really want. The commission is often in the form of a percentage of the overall cost. 

Once things finally start moving, more of these commission seekers show up with more offers of introductions. At least you won’t need to go out looking anymore because they come to you. Many of the first people to show up, are of the same ilk as the black-plate taxi drivers that waylay unsuspecting tourist in front of their hotels. 

Some of the best workers are not the best talkers and may not be as good at selling themselves as the others. You will need to go around and check on their work and see if their customers are happy or not. The better ones won’t mind this and will even encourage it. No matter who you choose someone will be offended and I have even seen the loosing parties still demanding a piece of the pie from the winner. It is all very cut-throat and best avoided if at all possible.

Separating the good from the bad has as much to do with us as it does them, however. If we are lazy, gullible, our Thai weak and our partner not diligent in protecting our interests, who’s fault is that? We got lucky and managed to find our house contractor by ourselves and eliminate the additional cost of finder’s fees.

One guy we worked with on part of our land development, really was a very nice guy and a great talker. He was very helpful and the work turned out alright but not as good as we would have liked. He tried very hard to get close to us with many offers of assistance and an invitation to his homes and properties. I wasn’t surprised when he offered the “opportunity” to be his partner in the purchase of a back-hoe so that he wouldn’t have to hire other people to do that part of his jobs.

My wife saved me on that one by explaining that I’m happy with my lot in life and not a wheeler dealer always on the lookout for that next great deal. That saved me having to tell him “no” to his face. I admire people who can live on the edge like that. Always taking on new risks and managing to stay positive in the face of possible disaster. You could rightfully call me timid but I would prefer to see myself as thoughtful, thorough, cautious and skeptical.