Every home improvement project carries with it a bit of stress. However, the right contractor should act as a guiding hand and sooth you through the process. Hiring the wrong one could mean plenty of headaches and a waste of your hard earned money. Here we will look at some common signs of an unprofessional or unethical contractor.
1. Shows up extremely late or no show without a phone call
Fashionably late is best reserved for house parties and is the first strike when meeting a potential client. Almost all home improvement contractors start by coming to your home for an estimate to see the job site. Most contractors have busy schedules and some might be trying to juggle multiple projects while taking on new clients. It is understandable to be held up by traffic or finishing up at another job site. The least they could do is reschedule with a phone call. This might seem like something minor but it should make you wonder if your home will be a priority after you hire them.
2. Unable to answer technical questions
This part requires you to do some homework before the first appointment. When speaking with the contractor, ask them some technical questions regarding the method of installation or ask about potential unforeseen costs. If they stumble and fumble with even the most basic questions, do you really want them learning on the job? Of course there will be questions that even the most experienced contractors will struggle with.
3. Sends the entire estimate with a single number, without breaking down individual parts
An estimate is an intricate part of every project. This breaks down the cost of individual line items and should include a detailed list of what you can expect. Without a professional estimate a dishonest installer could come back to you for more money half way through job. At that point there would be no way to hold them responsible for their original bid. This also serves as a way to protect the installer from unforeseen circumstances which could amount to additional labor or material costs.
4. Only willing to accept cash and wants to get a commitment right away
The old “I have some left over material from another job and could give it to you for half price if you just pay me in cash.” Remember it is very difficult to prove cash exchanges and gives you the least protection from the contractor running away with your money. Credit card companies access a % fee so it is common for some contractors to be unwilling to accept plastic. In this case, offer to write a check to keep record of payment. Of course, if the contractor is your buddy from high school you might be able to pay him cash but make sure you know them personally or at least by referral.
5. Contractor does not have insurance or license
Different states and different trades have their own licensing laws. Certain trades may not require a license, but if your project does it could get you in trouble for working with an unlicensed contractor. Licensing serves as a form of regulation standard and continued education. Another subject you should require is for your contractor to be insured. Home improvement projects carry many unforeseeable risks. For example the home owner could be liable for deaths or injuries occurred at their residence. Mishaps such as accidentally causing a pipe to burst or starting an electrical fire are very real problems which might occur on the job.
At Unique Wood Floors all of our installers are respectful, professional, and fully insured at every job. Hopefully for your next home improvement project this article will help you select the best candidate.