Many bad relationships happen because one doesn’t spot the red flags right away. This is not to blame any victims; even the most intelligent person can have the wool pulled over their eyes. The same applies with a contractor relationship. Many contractors will have red flags, and if you notice them, you can save yourself a world of trouble. Here are a few red flags.
The first step is to look at their reviews through various websites. Even the best contractors will have a few negative reviews; the customer isn’t always right, but if the contractor has a mountain of bad reviews and little on the positive side, avoid.
The first red flag is that a contractor has poor communication. They don’t return your calls or emails, and you have to try repeatedly to get a hold of them. Some may write it off as the contractor being busy, but all good contractors should respond in a timely manner. If they don’t, they usually continue that poor communication after you seal the deal.
No References or Samples
Everyone starts somewhere, but your contractor should have some references and samples of their previous work. If they keep dodging the question when you ask for samples, this could be a sign of a bad contractor.
The Rate is Too Good to Be True
Contracting is a competitive business, so some contractors may have lower rates. However, if the contractor’s rate is significantly low, this could be a major red flag. This may mean the contractor isn’t insured, uses cheap materials, or plans to run away with your money. Most contractors may offer a negotiable rate, but they want to be paid well for their work.
Another example of the too-good-to-be-true red flag is a contractor promising the moon. They can claim they can finish your work super fast for the price, as well as promise you other bells and whistles. Use some common skepticism when your contractor is promising you a lot. There’s a good chance they just want to wow you to get your money.
They Hate Contracts
A bad contractor hates contracts like a vampire hates crucifixes. Contracts allow protection for both sides, and if a contractor won’t put their quote and what they’re going to do in the contract, this could be a sign of bad things to come.
They Pressure You to Pay in Full
A little bit of upfront payment is needed for the contractor’s protection, but full payments are not only inconvenient for you, but they may be illegal in your state. A reasonable contractor gets paid by the milestone, not demands everything upfront.
Can’t Commit to a Schedule
A contractor is busy, but they must commit to a schedule and stick to it. This isn’t hanging out with your friends; this is business. Sometimes, a delay may happen, but if the contractor is delaying things upfront, this could be a problem.