Homeowners always love to renovate or upgrade their homes. But only a few know the most critical factors for a home improvement company or contractor.
Each year many people hire the wrong one and regret it later.
So, before hiring any home improvement company, it is good to know the red flags to watch for to avoid wasting time, money, and effort on the wrong one.
Here are seven simple ways to tell if the company you’re about to work with is good or not.
The Contractor is Dishonest About Their License
If you choose one to work at your home, you want someone who will be reliable, trustworthy, and honest.
You want to ensure that any contractor you hire has the proper licensing for their area of expertise.
If they say they have been doing this work for 20 years but cannot provide proof of their license, you must proceed cautiously.
Do not work with them if they cannot show proof of their license.
They should be honest when discussing their license, insurance, and other credentials. If they do not have a license or are not insured, that should be a warning. You would not want to sign contracts with anyone lacking legal safety.
In signing a contract, ensure you get proof of their license or any credential that certifies them as professionals in the field.
Different states and counties require many licenses, so make sure you ask plenty of questions about their ability to perform the job without getting into trouble with authorities.
The Contractor Doesn’t Have Good References
Most good contractors are happy to provide past customer references so potential clients can call and inquire about their experience working with them before hiring them.
If they don’t have any, ask them why not — they may be new at their job or bad at it.
It doesn’t matter how friendly the contractor is — if they don’t have good references, it’s probably best to pass on them. A contractor who can’t get along with previous clients isn’t going to be able to do an excellent job with your project.
But, if they provide references, check them out before hiring them; make sure they were happy with their experience and that there were no complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau or local authorities.
The Contractor Doesn’t Have Much experience.
If you’re hiring a contractor that specilizes in residential properties, it’s essential to know that they have experience in the field.
While plenty of good ones out there have been doing this for many years, some aren’t as experienced. Thus they may not be able to do the job right.
When you’re looking for a contractor, ensure they have experience with what you want and that they’ve done similar jobs before.
This could be a red flag if the company doesn’t have much experience or only does part-time work.
They Don’t Offer a Warranty
The contractors should be able to offer you a warranty on their work. That is especially true if they do major remodelling or renovations on your home.
An honest one will stand behind their work and guarantee that if something goes wrong with their craft, they will fix it at no additional cost to you.
If they are unwilling to do so, then this could be a sign that they are not entirely confident in their abilities and do not feel comfortable offering such coverage.
They Don’t Get Permits
If hiring someone to work on your home, ensure they follow the law. Getting the proper permits and inspections is one of the most critical steps in any home improvement project.
This ensures compliance with all city ordinances and helps protect you from liability if something goes wrong with your project.
A good company will get permits and ensure they are up-to-date during the project duration.
The Price is Too Low
Some companies offer low prices as part of their sales pitch. They may even claim to be the lowest price provider in your area. However, avoiding these companies is best because they often cut corners and use inferior materials.
Remember that a good home improvement company will not cut corners. Instead, they will ensure that they do your project correctly and that you get good value for your money.
If the rate seems too low, it probably is. If a contractor says they can do the work for $5,000, but another one thinks they’ll need $15,000, go with the second guy.
They Want a Large Down Payment
Many home improvement companies will require that you pay them upfront or put down a large percentage of the total cost of your project before they begin working on it.
It is not necessarily bad if their work is guaranteed and they have a history of doing quality work.
So, if a contractor asks you for more than 20% of the total cost of the job upfront, consider whether that’s reasonable before proceeding further with them.
However, if they’re asking for more than half of your money upfront and don’t offer guarantees, there’s something wrong with them.
In addition, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
You’ve decided to invest in a home improvement project and are ready to start. But as you browse through the myriad options, one question comes to mind: who should I choose?
The home improvement industry is enormous, meaning there are plenty of companies out there that aren’t doing things the right way.
When looking for a new home improvement contractor, it’s essential to know what to look for when vetting potential companies.
There are a lot of fly-by-night operations. So, the only way to safeguard yourself from these companies is to do your research before hiring someone.
A wrong one can cost you money and cause damage to your home, and this can mean delays, cost overruns, or even health and safety issues down the road.
Call a home improvement professional when you’re ready to take on the work. And don’t be afraid to ask questions—the more you know about the company you choose, the more likely you’ll be satisfied with your overall experience.