Hiring a contractor is a difficult procedure. When you search for ‘general contractors near me’, you get a long list of potential contractors for hire; all claiming to be the best in the industry. Unfortunately, not all general contractors are created equally, hence the various renovation shows that have a sole purpose of fixing messy jobs done by bad contractors. In order to ensure the contractor you hire for your new job is reputable, here are the warning signs of a bad contractor to be aware of.
8 Warning Signs of a Bad Contractor
If you notice a contractor displaying any of these warning signs, consider doing more research on the independent contractor as well as the company they work for.
The details are vague
Hiring a contractor for a job, whether it’s a handyman for home renovations or a landscape contractor, the details are the best place to spot the warning signs of a bad contractor. A contractor or contracting company that has something to hide will likely be vague on the details. They’ll be hesitant to provide you with a list of references from real clients; they’ll be vague about the total costs, about the date, about the procedure – about everything they can possibly be vague about. So, be aware of any contractors that don’t seem to be telling you the entire story or that have difficulties providing you with definite information.
A reputable contracting company will never shy away from providing you with even the smallest details. So, an excellent way to spot the warning signs of a bad contractor is to ask for all the details you can – a detailed estimate, a detailed list of previous projects, a detailed list of procedures, etc.
The contractor is exceptionally pushy
If it feels like your contractor should be working as an old car salesman, pay attention. A contractor that uses high-pressure sales tactics or that pushes you to hire them immediately can be a warning sign. While contracting companies do offer promotional discounts at times, if it feels like they’re backing you up against a wall, consider doing more research.
A reputable contracting company is never going to make their clients feel uncomfortable. Yes, they want you to hire them over their direct competitors but there’s a fine line between going after a potential sale and pressuring a client beyond their comfort level.
So, be aware of any pushy sales tactics. If the contractor is making you feel uneasy prior to hiring them, think about how they’ll make you feel once they have your money.
The contractor bad mouths their competition
With the prior said, be aware of any contractors that talk poorly about their competition as it can be a reflection of their values. At the end of the day, contractors are a business and they should remain professional at all times. So, avoid any contractors that bad mouth others within their industry. It’s just not a good look and once that often comes with a high risk when hiring.
The contractor wants your money right now
While there’s no denying that many jobs require a deposit of some sort, it should be reasonable and there should be a signed contractor. There’s one too many stories out there where contractors require a large lump sum up front, sans a contractor, and then disappears with the money.
Additionally, jobs that take less than week usually don’t require a down payment, with a few exceptions, of course. So, if a contractor is asking for a deposit, make sure to always have the details in signed documents before handing over the money.
The contractor has strange working hours
Most general contractors wake up at the break of dawn and work until the late afternoon or early evening. So, if a potential contractor suggests working on your project late at night, it’s one of the biggest signs of a bad contractor. There’s no plausible reason why a contractor would be working at night, unless they overbooked or do this as a side job which you should be aware of anyway.
The hours worked reflect a contractor’s overall professionalism.
The contractor won’t sign a contract
No contract? No deal. In no way should you ever hire a contractor without a thoroughly detailed contract. As mentioned previously, a reputable contracting company will never refrain from providing you with utmost details on the project. After all, they want to ensure their own protection as well as yours. So, if a contractor won’t sign a contract, search Quotr for a new contractor for hire – and one that will sign a contract.
The contractor is difficult to get ahold of them
Contractors are busy during the day and you may not be able to get ahold of them right away. However, if it’s impossible to reach your contractor or if they fail to return phone calls and emails, it’s a huge red flat. This doesn’t mean that the contractor is irreputable per se, but it does show their level of professionalism and quality.
When handing over a large amount of money to a contractor, you want to be able to get ahold of them as needed. A lack of communication skills will only become more frustrating once the job begins. So, avoid this headache altogether by hiring a contractor that you can actually reach.
Something about the contractor doesn’t feel right
Lastly, trust your intuition. If you meet with the contractor and feel like something is off, it could very well be. Look deeper into the contractor’s job history if he or she is an independent contractor, or read online reviews of the contracting company you hired them from. If you still feel unsure, you’re likely better off hiring a new contractor.
At Quotr, we strive to provide accurate reviews and ratings of the general contractors available. So, this is also a great place to look to determine the quality of the job, along with contractor reviews.