Hiring the right contractor for a job is a big deal. Plumbers, Water Restoration Specialists, and General Contractors are just a few of the many companies that you may need to hire to do work on your home. Finding a company to complete your job may be easy, but finding a contractor you feel you can trust to get the job done efficiently and effectively may take a little bit of effort. You don’t want to be stuck wasting your precious time and money with a contractor that isn’t a good fit. To get you on the right track, we’ve compiled a list of red flags to be on the lookout for when doing your research.
Too Good to Be True
- Always be wary of scammers. Victims of natural disasters are especially easy targets for profiteers looking to prey on people in desperate and dire situations.
- “Special low rate” or “today only” deals are usually too good to be true. Also be concerned about estimates that come in especially low. This often means less quality of product or service.
- You should never be asked to pay for an entire job upfront. If a company only asks for cash, that is another bad sign. Deposits on a job are typically limited by law in a state. Those codes are in place to protect homeowners.
No Verification or References
- You must verify that the contractor has a business name, address, and telephone number. Be wary of door to door contractors.
- Ask for references. David Reiss, research director for the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship says, “You want references for recent and current jobs, and for jobs that are similar to yours.” If there are no current references or if you cannot get in contact with them, then do not give that contractor the job.
- It is easy to seek out reviews for a company online. Be on the lookout for consistent, negative reviews or low ratings. Read specifically what other customers are saying.
Lack of Communication
- Your contractor should be accessible. If they are hard to get ahold of or don’t return calls, do not hire them.
- Contractors should be confident and clear when answering your questions. If responses are reluctant or vague that is not a good sign.
- Your needs as a homeowner should come first. If a contractor is impatient or unwilling to answer your questions to your satisfaction, then you may want to walk away.
- Never allow a job to be completed by a contractor without signing a through, legal contract.
No License, Permit, Insurance, or Certifications
- All services from water restoration to general contracting, require specific licensing, permits, and insurance. Always verify that a company is current in all required forms with the proper authorities and that they can show you proof.
- Often times there are further certifications contractors will hold that show they are committed to customers and providing the best and most reliable service possible.
- Be wary of sales tactics that make you sign a contract on the spot. They often offer a “great deal” or “special price” only available “today.” Never sign a contract unless you have had time to read it through carefully, think it over, and ask questions. Legitimate contractors understand the need for time in order to think through big decisions. Don’t be pressured to act quickly.
- Reliable contractors will offer market-value prices with details about the costs of a project upfront.
- Also be aware of companies that talk negatively about their competition while trying to get your business. Companies should be focusing on the strengths and benefits of their own company rather than the services of others that may be considered.
Your home is important to you and when it comes time to get help with a remodel project, water emergency, leak, or other issues, you want a hassle-free, positive experience with your service provider. Knowing what to watch out for when hiring a contractor will be a big help to you. Putting in the time and research necessary to find the right person for your job will be your best shot at great service.
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