Tips on Hiring a Contractor

We love building for ourselves, but some jobs just need to be subbed out. Unfortunately, a competent, honest remodeling contractor is no easy find. There are thousands of reliable, trustworthy contractors out there — but there are quite a few toolbox-wielding knuckleheads, too. Here’s what you should keep your eye on:

1. Avoid sleazy or shady tactics.
The first thing to do is make sure you’re not being scammed.

Beware these 10 red flags:

The contractor …

  1. Provides credentials or references that can’t be verified.
  2. Offers a special price, but only if you sign a contract today.
  3. Accepts only cash, requires large deposits or wants the entire cost up front.
  4. Asks you to write a check in his name (not to the business).
  5. Won’t provide a written contract or complete bid.
  6. Refuses to apply for building permits, and asks you to get them.
  7. Offers exceptionally long warranties.
  8. Proposes to do most or all of the work on weekends and after-hours.
  9. Gives you a low-ball offer that sounds too good to be true.
  10. Has “Will work for beer” painted on the side of his trucks.
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