Picking the right contractor for any home renovation project is a significant task. If you choose the so-called wrong expert, you could end up paying for costly repairs down the road; or, in the worst cases, the job never gets completed, and the contractor runs merely off your money. To avoid either of these unfortunate situations, there are a few important red flags you should watch out for.
As you read the rest of this guide, you’ll see helpful explanations of six warning signs that signal you need to find a new contractor immediately. If you are currently working with a contractor who has done any of these things, you shouldn’t hesitate to end your working relationship and move on as soon as possible before he or she does any additional work on your house.
- You had to pay a large down payment – Reputable contractors do not require significant down payments from their clients. If you’re asked to do this, you should be extremely wary; the odds are fairly good that the individual is planning to take your money without doing all of the work. Reliable professionals understand that their clients need to see progress being made before they write large checks.
- You didn’t have to wait for work to begin – If your contractor was able to start work immediately, you should actually be quite concerned. The faster a contractor is able to start your project, the less in-demand he or she is. Most reputable professionals have to ask new clients to wait a few weeks, or even a few months before they can get started on their jobs.
- There was never proof of insurance or license – Any contractor who has earned a good reputation undoubtedly carries all the insurance policies and certifications that are necessary in your area. Different parts of the Carolinas and Virginia have different requirements for home renovation contractors, so contact your municipality if you have questions. If, however, you’re working with a contractor who never showed you proof of insurance or a business license, you should move on right away.
- You couldn’t get information about subcontractors – It is not uncommon for even the most reputable home renovation experts to hire subcontractors from time to time. In some cases, experts are needed for particular projects and, other times, contractors are simply too busy and need extra hands. If, however, a contractor will not give you information about where his or her subcontractors are hired from, whether or not they are insured, and whether or not they have undergone background checks, you should absolutely hire someone else.
- The communication has been spotty – Good contractors typically give their clients multiple ways to contact them and respond via each avenue, whether it is a cell phone, a landline, or an email address. If you are having problems reaching your contractor, you should not continue working with him or her. This is a clear sign that the business is not operating as a reputable company should be.
- You’ve paid too much for materials – Often, homeowners trust their contractors to get materials for them. In many cases, this saves money because contractors are able to get discounts that they pass along to their clients. If you have been paying a large percentage over retail for your materials, though, you can assume your contractor has been pocketing the money. This is dishonest and should prompt you to find a new contractor quickly.
The team at Hatch Homes has been building great relationships with families from Richmond, VA to Charleston, SC for years. We are proud to provide all of our clients with reliable, trustworthy service, no matter what kind of project we’re working on. If you would like to discuss your next home remodeling job with our team, give us a call today to get started.