When you’re planning to do work to your property, whether your home’s been damaged by bad weather, it’s in need of general renovation or you simply want to make some improvements, you’ll need contractors you can trust. Unfortunately, some companies just aren’t up to the job.
To help you avoid dodgy contractors – and the stress that goes with using them – here are five red flags you should watch out for when you’re weighing up your options.
1. They can’t prove they have the right paperwork
In a blog post focusing on this topic, cash home buying company Fast Sale Florida highlighted the importance of making sure contractors have the right registration, license and insurance documents, including liability and workers’ cover. The firm suggests that regardless of how good it might otherwise seem, if a contractor can’t show that it has this paperwork in place, you should avoid using it.
2. They seem unprofessional
You might not want to write people off based on first impressions, but if a contractor seems unprofessional in the way they deal with you, it’s best to find someone else. Whether they cancel appointments, turn up late or are impolite, a poor attitude should set off alarm bells.
3. They pressure you in order to make a sale
Good contractors understand the importance of giving clients time and space when it comes to making a decision about whether to use their services. So, if a company uses high-pressure sales tactics and tries to get you to commit to choosing them on the spot, they probably aren’t right for you.
4. They ask for unusual payment arrangements
Be on the alert for contractors who make strange payment requests. If a company says it will only accept cash payments or it demands a large sum of money upfront, you should think twice before using it. It’s important that you feel completely comfortable with the financial arrangements, so make sure you have a clear idea of how this aspect of the project will be managed before you agree to anything.
5. They can’t point to past projects
Everyone has to start somewhere, so you shouldn’t necessarily avoid contractors on the basis that they haven’t got an extensive catalogue of similar projects they have successfully worked on in the past. However, it’s best to avoid individuals or companies that have no work history to point to. Even if someone’s just establishing themselves as an independent contractor, they should be able to highlight jobs they have been involved with either as an employee or apprentice.
Keeping these red flags in mind when you’re searching for a contractor will help you to find specialists with the right attitude and skills to complete the job properly. Whatever you do, don’t rush into choosing a company that you’re not sure about.