Warning Signs to Look for When Hiring a Contractor
Your trust is fragile. When it comes to hiring plumbers, general contractors, restoration specialists, or other professionals you will need to put in some effort to find the right fit and to avoid potential scams or poor workmanship. To keep you guarded we are sharing signs to look out for during the hiring process on your project.
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. If there are no current references or if you cannot get in contact with them, then do not give that contractor the job.
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.
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.
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.
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 thorough, legal contract.
High Pressure Sales
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 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 up front.
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 time and money are precious. The last thing you want is to be on the losing end of a bad business deal. Being diligent and aware in what to watch out for when hiring a contractor will be a big help. The time and research put into finding the right person for the job will the best way to set you up for a positive experience.
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