Signs that Your Contractor Might be Cutting Corners

man writing on project paper

Signs that Your Contractor Might be Cutting Corners


General contractors are quite popular in the US because of their versatile role in the construction world. They handle everything from residential maintenance to home construction and can provide all the necessary tools, types of machinery, and supplies for completing these projects. It is a major reason why there are over 36,310 general contractors in the US alone. However, there is always a possibility that your contractor may not be a licensed professional and/or might be cutting corners to save money.  

There are various reasons why contractors do this, but the majority of them want to maximize their profits. Identifying these contractors is essential if you want to ensure your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste. This piece will discuss some signs of your contractors cutting corners. 

Failing to Pull Permits

Contractors require a license or permit to work on a construction project. Otherwise, your property will not pass the inspection, making it useless for everyone. 

The permit is a license representing the constructor that has followed the construction code of your state, which qualifies the property for sale. The code includes several laws on the formation, powers, management, and HOA residential operation. It would be best to check the Texas Property Code when you look into pulling permits further.  

Licensed and Professional Contractors Follow Standards and Codes

The standard construction codes explain all the requirements for legally building a house. However, there are some contractors (mostly unlicensed), that use below-average material or do not follow the rules of construction properly. 

Thus, you should always check if your contractor has a license before hiring them for a task. In addition, you must keep an eye on the progress of your projects. This lets you have a clearer image of whether or not a contractor is using the right approach. Keep in mind that you have the right to question the contractor if something doesn’t feel right.

However, you must thoroughly review the project contract before you sign it, so that you are aware of your responsibilities, rights, and possible liabilities. 

Bad Communication and Unprofessional Character

One of the biggest red flags for a contractor that may be cutting corners is their unprofessional behavior. Licensed and professional contractors know that their customer satisfaction and long-term relationship impact their company’s image. Therefore, they try their best to communicate during every step of the construction process. This helps both the customer and the handyman to iron out any construction problems that they may have. 

A professional contractor knows the importance of customer satisfaction and will do their best to deliver what they promise. You should stay away from contractors that do not treat you well, or do not want to answer your queries. There are several guidance videos that can help detect unprofessional contractors, and Red Flags To Look For When Hiring a Contractor is one of the best out there.

What Can You Do About It?

Now that you have some idea on how to detect an unprofessional contractor, you may be wondering how to deal with them. While terminating your handyman may be the best option once work has already begun, you can also do your best to avoid them too. Mentioned below are some basic points to help you understand how you can hire licensed and professional contractors. 

How to Always Hire Licensed and Experienced Contractors?

Below are some tips that you should follow to ensure that you hire licensed and experienced contractors or local handyman services when you need a home maintenance or construction project completed.

  • Check Contract Terms

The easiest way to ensure that your contractors are professionals is to check their contract terms. Every contractor needs to explain their service specifications during bids, no matter how professional or unprofessional they are. You can take a good look at their specs and get a clearer image of how they may work in reality.

You can also use the specs during the bidding as a reference and identify if the company deviates from its initial plans. This makes it almost impossible for the contractor to cut corners during a construction project.

  • Read Reviews

Another classic way to determine the authenticity of your construction company is to review its services. You can check out online reviews, comments, and feedback from people who have used their services. Only hire a contractor if the majority of the feedback seems in favor of the company. While most companies are sure to receive some negative reviews at some point in their existence, it may be worth digging into the nature of those negative reviews and examining the company’s response. Companies that do not have a positive online reputation should be a red flag and an indication that it’s one of those they might cut corners. 

  • Cheaper Isn’t Always Better for Your Pocket

Finally, a common mistake on the customer’s end is trying to go for unlicensed contractors just because they charge less. While hiring a licensed professional might cost you more on average, an unlicensed one may also damage your project or home more in the long run.

These unlicensed contractors can slow down the process, add unnecessary raw materials to the project, or simply do their work in an unsatisfactory manner. You may have to go through the construction process again if their work is below par – adding more expenses to the entirety of the project. Therefore, it is important to consider the bigger picture and only hire professional and licensed contractors. 

Consider checking out detailed blogs on choosing the right contractors, questions to ask yourself before signing a contract or bid, and more, to make things easier for yourself. You can find detailed guidance in these blogs, which will help you choose the right contractor.

Bottom Line

Contractors cutting corners is a serious concern as it can impact the quality, design, and budget of your project. It goes without saying that you must go for reputable companies when it comes to choosing a local handyman in your area

And if you’re in the Austin area, check GARSC’s professional services the next time you need to hire licensed contractors. They will not only help you with your construction-related task but will also give you genuine advice.

Once again, make sure that your contractors have their license and are ready to talk about the project progress. If you follow the tips mentioned in this piece, there is a high likelihood that the contractor you choose will be reliable and you’ll love the work they provide.


By: Kayla Gonzales, GARSC Marketing Manager