Contractor Red Flags: Are you getting what you paid for?

With construction or remodeling projects, hiring a contractor becomes a daunting task with so much money and effort at stake. For an easy and hassle free experience, it is important to be aware of the contractor red flags and decide whether you are getting services worth your investment. It is so easy to go wrong while hiring contractors, however with patience and the right questions you should be able to hire someone you can trust.

The contractor is definitely the biggest factor in determining the success of the remodeling project. To start with your search for the best contractor, we have compiled a list of potential Contractor Red Flags to help you avoid fraudulent contractors.

  • Over defensive: If the contractor is too defensive, probably he is hiding something which may not be good for your project.
  • Lack of References: Client referrals are important because they also include past examples of work performed by the contractor.
  • Upfront Payment: Most of the licensed contractors don’t demand the complete payment up-front. Objective based payment is a nice idea where the contractor can ask for a payment. The industry standard is generally capped at 10%.
  • Unrealistic Bids: If a bid sounds too good to be true, probably the contractor plans to skimp on the essential supplies or has no plans to finish the work.
    No certification or insurance: In order to indemnify yourself from construction accidents and hazards it is important that the contractor is insured.
  • High Pressure Sales: Legitimate contractors would act professionally and offer you appropriate amount of time to decide well before making any commitment, however there are contractors you need to wary of who would use high pressure sales approach to clinch the deal.
  • Door to door solicitation: Experts generally don’t recommend hiring contractors who show up at your desktop.
  • A written contract: It is very important to have a written contract which details the terms and conditions applicable for the project. Anything not on paper can be understood differently and have no legal binding. For changes along the way, there should be signed change orders mentioning the updates.
  • No license or permit: A reliable contractor should ideally have a license issued by the state, county or city that can highlight any red flags in the work history of the contractor.
  • Gut Feeling: When everything else fails, trust your gut feeling. Even if the references are good, and if you can sense a subconscious warning which advises against hiring the contractor, it makes sense to listen to it.

For the best hiring experience, you need to have the right questions. Only right questions can make your search for the perfect contractor easier. End of the day, your goal should be to invest in a contractor who can provide services that is worth every penny spent on the project.

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