How Can You Tell if You Hired the Wrong Contractor?

August 3, 2020

Whenever you’re preparing to take on a new project at your home that requires the services of a contractor, it is important to do your due diligence in researching contractors, including checking their experience, certifications and reputations.

Most of the time, you will find it relatively easy to connect with honest, experienced professionals who are capable of doing great work for you. But every now and then, you could become the victim of a contractor looking to scam you. It’s important to watch for certain red flags that will indicate you’ve hired the wrong contractor and need to back out of the arrangement before you lose money.

Here are examples of a few of these red flags and things to avoid when hiring a contractor in Poulsbo, WA:

  • Upfront payments: One of the more common scams from contractors is to request a significant amount of the project to be paid up front, often 30 to 50 percent or more for “materials and equipment.” Once you hand over the money, the contractor is likely to disappear. You should never pay more than 10 percent of the job or $1,000, whichever is less, at the start of the project. Some states even set that as the legal maximum for prepayments.
  • No permitting: You are required to get building permits for certain types of construction jobs. If the contractor you’re working with says they’re not going to bother with a permit because the authorities “won’t notice,” or if they ask you to take out a homeowner’s permit, this is a major red flag and could make you responsible for any shoddy work. Always make sure any contractor you’re working with is the one pulling permits.
  • No details in writing: It is absolutely critical that you get all of the details of the project and agreements you make with the contractor in writing. If you look at the contract agreement and don’t see certain details, it doesn’t matter if you already came to a verbal understanding—it’s important that you ask for the contract to be revised to include everything you talked about so you can make sure it’s legally binding. You must make sure everything is included before signing your name or initials—otherwise, you will not have much legal recourse against the contractor, as you technically agreed to the contract as written.
  • “Unforeseen issues”: While it’s certainly possible that unforeseen issues may arise during the course of your work, especially after demolition begins, you should be very careful about how you handle change orders. Additional fees and unforeseen issues can absolutely be legitimate, but some contractors will find excuses to jack up the prices even more. Make sure you have information about change orders in your contract, including fixed prices and processes for putting those change orders through.

Now that you have a better idea of things to avoid when hiring a contractor in Poulsbo, WA, it’s time to find the right partner for your project. To get started with professionals who care about high-quality work and customer service, contact the team at Coyote Hollow Construction today.

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