Choosing the right contractor for your home improvement project can be tricky. You know, of course, to check references and verify credentials, but figuring out whether or not you can really rely on a contractor isn’t easy. Be on the lookout for these eight warning signs that you’ve hired a bad contractor.
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- No portfolio or relevant work history
- Showing up late or missing appointments
- Doesn’t have the right stuff
- Odd payment arrangements
- Uses high-pressure tactics
- Has poor communication skills
- Lack of credentials
- Doesn’t show professionalism
No portfolio or relevant work history
Even someone new to the business should have some work under his or her belt, either from an apprenticeship or from working with another contractor. Never hire a contractor who can’t provide a list of references and examples of some previous work.
Showing up late or missing appointments
Everyone misses appointments or runs late from time to time due to unforeseen circumstances, but if your contractor makes a habit of it and isn’t courteous enough to communicate with you about it, then you should think about finding someone else.
Doesn’t have the right stuff
Does your contractor appear to have the right equipment to do the job you described, and does he or she have experience that is relevant to your project? If not, then this person might not be your best choice.
Odd payment arrangements
Requests for cash-only payments, in-full payments up front, or even extremely low-ball offers are all red flags. Trust your instincts on this one and keep looking for someone else.
Uses high-pressure tactics
A reputable contractor will understand that you need some time to make a hiring decision. Avoid anyone who tries to secure a job by pressuring you to make a decision right away.
Has poor communication skills
If your contractor has a bad attitude and you feel uncomfortable approaching him or her with questions or comments about your project, then look for someone else who is easier to get along with.
Lack of credentials
Requirements for licenses, registrations, and insurance vary from place to place, but your contractor should be familiar with and possess all of the proper credentials to operate legally in your area.
Doesn’t show professionalism
The bottom line is that your contractor should possess an air of professionalism at all times. This not only means that your contractor communicates with you in a friendly and respectful manner, but also that he or she can answer all of your questions and offer opinions about your project that are based on previous experience.