14 Jun 4 Red Flags to Look For When Hiring a Contractor
Whether you’re a homeowner or a property manager, hiring a contractor for a project is a big decision. You want to be sure you’re working with a contractor you can trust, and who has the skills to get the job done. Here are four red flags to be aware of as you look for a contractor.
Lack of References
Reputable contractors are glad to provide references from satisfied customers. Word of mouth is an important factor in how contractors get repeat business. Even if your contractor has just started a new business, he or she should have past experience as an apprentice or an employee of another company. Ask them for references from previous employers. If the contractor you’re considering can’t provide references, or if the references cannot be verified, you should move on.
Demands Full Payment Upfront
Almost any contractor will require a deposit before beginning work. However, asking for the cost of the entire project upfront is a red flag. You don’t want a contractor who will take your money and then vanish. Generally, you should be billed in installments as different phases of the project are completed. The typical payment arrangement begins with 10% to 15% up front.
Not Licensed or Insured
An above-board contractor will have the proper licenses to operate legally. He or she will also carry the proper liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Hiring an uninsured contractor puts you at risk if an injury occurs on your property.
Does Not Obtain Permits
An experienced contractor is familiar with the permits your project will need and should know the procedure for obtaining them. Steer clear of any contractor who asks you to apply for permits or insists permits aren’t necessary. An unpermitted job can quickly be shut down by building officials.
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