You, Your Contractor, and the Bell Curve



Survival of the Least Fit?  How can a tool to measure High School and College classroom performance give us necessary insight into the success or your remodeling project?

First, let’s review what the Bell Curve is, so we can become clear that the Bell Curve absolutely affects the success of your remodeling project.

The Bell Curve has become a tool to measure performance expectations using an average, or mediocre as a midpoint for comparison.

So, in school, a grade of C was considered average, and a B predictably higher, and an A the highest.

Each student was compared to one another to determine their grade, or quality of their ability to learn.

So, in a class of 12 children, 6 were going to get a C, 2 were going to get a B and 2 were going to get a D, leaving 1 to get an F and one to get an A……every time. 

Carl Frederick Gauss used large samplings of numbers to create this theory, and it does a great job in establishing some sense of order to remodeling, which mixes a structure built by one builder, to be altered by another builder often after many years of service, and making the judgment about how well it is getting accomplished is a person who may not have any building experience… all.

Here is how it works, for you.

What do you expect in the performance of the Remodel?

If I asked you to put an expectation on how you would like this remodel to look when it was finished, would you plot that expectation in the middle of the Bell Curve?  At the left most edge, where the kid who gets the F is plotted?

Or would you put your expectation more on the right side of the curve, where the A’s are plotted?  Most of us would say that our expectation is really high.

So, now let’s use the same curve to plot where you would put your expectation to pay would be located.

Of course, you know it is good business to get 3 bids, and certainly you should take the low bid.

Or should you?

How would your contractor score if you charted his building ability, his communication ability, and his ability as a business owner?

Where do you think you would want the ability of your contractor to be plotted on the Bell Curve?

If you could measure all contractors on various skills from carpentry, plumbing, electrical, flooring, and design, how would that chart look?  Probably most contractors that you find would be charted in the middle.

Survival of the Least Fit might be the best way to describe the “Average” contractor.  If he was the “best,” wouldn’t he also be the highest price?  Wouldn’t he have the biggest business?  And if he did, why would he be working in your house, where you want the best, but want to pay the least?

Using the Bell Curve to plot your expectations of performance, price, and other expectations will assist you in determining where you may become frustrated, before you even get started.


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