Red Flags to Look Out for When Hiring a Contractor
Finding a reliable contractor for any job around the house can be a tedious undertaking and often times leaves a homeowner wondering if in the end they have made the right decision. In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the red flags you should look out for when hiring someone for the job.
- No References – While a start up may not have many reviews, they will still have contacts in the field. If a contractor is not able to produce anything in the form of a reference, this should be noted as it could mean the contractor is not legitimate.
- Lack of Contract – If a contractor refuses to produce a contract this is something to be suspicious of. A contract not only lays out the work that is to be done and what you as the homeowner should expect, but it also helps the contractor if any changes are made.
- Poor Communication – During the initial meeting, it is vital that the contractor is able to explain exactly what will be going on during the duration of the project. As a homeowner, you must also feel at ease with responses and if you have questions, the contractor should be able to answer them for you. If additional information is required, most contractors have cellphone numbers that they can be reached at during any time. If a contractor is vague, does not reply to voicemails and/or keeps irregular hours, these could all could mean something is up. Keep in mind however that there may be a legitimate reason for a contractor not getting back to you right away such as being in the middle of a job, on a supply and material run or being in a meeting. In these cases it is best to simply ask because what may look like slacking from the outside, could be necessary for work.
- Deals Too Good to be True – When the deal sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. If a contractor says something along the lines of, “because we will be showcasing you in our portfolio, you will get our special rate,” it could mean it is a scam.
- High-Pressure Sales – In addition to deals that are too good to be true, a contractor that pressures you into a sale with lines such as, “If you sign this contract now, we can cut you a deal”, is not a good sign. All legitimate contractors will understand that a homeowner needs time to make a decision. However, sometimes there can be monthly and seasonal promotions that may be sensitive.
- Upfront Payment – It is best to avoid contractors who require 100% of the payment before the job begins. This could be an indication of lack of legitimacy or lack of skill. It could also mean the contractor has a bad credit rating. A deposit on the other hand is fine and is considered the norm in the industry.
While these are just some of the red flags out there, remember to trust your gut instincts as well. Chances are, they may not be far off.