Working with the right contractor can save you much money and damage your home. It’s essential to spot red flags before you work with one. If you notice these signs, finding a new contractor is time.
They Have a Reputation
Reputation is essential to every business, and it’s especially true for contractors. Check out home renovation professionals’ site reviews, which require verified customer reviews to post a contractor’s rating.
Read positive and negative reviews to get a complete picture of the professional’s work. Then, look at the reviews’ authenticity and whether or not they include the contractor’s contact information.
Also, verify expert home renovation contractors licensing information and specialty with your state’s regulatory body. Additionally, insist on a contract that includes a payment schedule (including specific milestones), a requirement that the contractor put all deposits in an escrow account or prove they have bond insurance to protect you and them from unpaid materials suppliers, and a requirement for lien releases from material and subcontractors before final payments are made.
They Put Their Communications in Writing
While discussing remodeling projects on the phone or in person might be more accessible, a trustworthy contractor will always get everything down in writing. This means shooting you a text or email summarizing the conversation so both parties have an official record of what was agreed upon.
This is especially important regarding timelines, costs, and other essential project details. It’s also the best way to ensure that verbal agreements don’t become misunderstandings or unmet expectations.
If you can’t trust your contractor to honor a written contract, it might be time to find someone else. The last thing you want during a home renovation is resentment that turns into legal action. That can be expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive to your day-to-day life.
They Have a Portfolio
This is a good sign if a contractor is willing to share a portfolio of their past work with you. It indicates that they are proud of their work and want you to see the quality of it. They should also be able to provide proof that they have insurance, as most states require contractors to work on homes.
Home remodeling is a stressful process involving workers in your house for extended periods. It is essential to find a contractor that makes you feel comfortable with their presence and answers your questions thoroughly. This may be a red flag if you notice they are reluctant to answer questions or seem defensive.
They Are Honest
Home renovation is a process; a contractor should be honest with you throughout it. For example, they should tell you if something isn’t possible or if it will negatively impact the final result.
They should also be open to discussing budgets and providing realistic timelines. It would help if you did not have to give a deposit or cash upfront and should never be pressured into signing a contract on the spot.
A trustworthy contractor will be able to provide references from past clients and photos of their work. They should also have a professional website to show they take their business seriously. And they should be able to schedule appointments and return phone calls quickly. This signals that they are honest and worth your time.
They Are Accessible
If you find it challenging to communicate with a contractor, it is a sign that they need to prioritize clear communication. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and frustration, ultimately affecting your project’s progress.
Therefore, the contractor needs to put any firm cost estimates or changes in writing, even if you have agreed verbally. This can be done quickly through a text message or email, which will help protect you if anything goes wrong during the project.
Home improvement projects can be stressful, but dealing with shady contractors can worsen it. To avoid potential headaches, narrowing down your contractors and carefully examining their portfolios, licensing, and references is essential. Be wary of contractors who use tactics like underbidding and loading projects with extras, as this could indicate that they need more experience to complete the work correctly.