Home renovations or remodels are big projects, so it’s important that you take the time to find the right contractor for the job. Though it may seem simple enough, there are actually a few things you will want to note – especially when it comes to getting quotes for projects and making the ultimate decision as to which company to hire. Here are some of the biggest signs that a contracting company may not be as transparent and honest as it should be.
You Feel the Pressure
Hiring a contractor is difficult enough without the company putting pressure on you to make a decision. If a company seems like it’s trying to force you to sign a contract before your ready, if they coerce you into buying your materials through them immediately, or even if they give you a time-sensitive “deal” on your project, you should think again about hiring them. Good contractors want you to feel secure in your decision, and they will never push you to make a choice before you are ready.
Checks and Credit Cards Are Not Allowed
In today’s day and age, credit cards and debit cards are preferred payment methods. These provide you with an electronic record of everything you pay, which can help you out in the event of a dispute. If one of the contractors you are considering will not accept any kind of payment but cash, steer clear. This is a very good sign that the business is not legitimate or that the contractor may try to pull a fast one later down the line. This is one of the biggest red flags there is, and you should never ignore it.
They Won’t Give You References
Good, legitimate contractors will offer you references before you even ask. They want you to see that their past work and hear testimonials directly from their past clients. After all, this is the best way for them to advertise themselves and build a solid reputation. If your contractor will not give you references when you ask, or if they will show you photographs but not provide you with names or addresses, then it’s probably a good idea to find a different contractor. These things indicate that your contractor is trying to hide something from you.
The Contractor Suggests a Specific Lender
Though contractors definitely have a right to ensure they will get their payment for services rendered and materials, they should never suggest specific lenders. This is often the first warning sign of a scam, and one that could result in you losing your home. Home improvement loan scams are prevalent, so be sure you don’t fall victim. Never hire a contractor who suggests a specific lender, and never hire a contractor that says it will not work with the lender of your choice, either.
No Recession Rights
A “Right of Recession” is a clause in a contract that gives you three days to cancel it. This is a legal requirement that gives homeowners the opportunity to back out of a contract without any penalty, and if the Right of Rescission does not exist in your contract, it’s a surefire sign that your contractor is not operating legally. You should not only avoid this particular contractor, but you should also report it to state officials in an effort to help other homeowners who may become targets.
Hiring a contractor might seem like a difficult task, but as long as you know what to look for, and as long as you know what kinds of red flags exist, it’s possible to avoid being scammed and get your home improvements or repairs done in a timely, affordable manner.