When it comes to home improvement projects, sometimes it is best to go the DIY route. However, there are times when hiring a Concrete Contractor is unavoidable. It is important to be aware of the risks involved in working with contractors and take steps to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Here are seven ways to protect yourself from shady contractors.
Do Your Homework
Many contractors operate under a business name rather than just their own name, so it is important to do research before hiring anyone. Look for reviews on the contractor from previous clients and check online to see what kind of comments have been posted about them. If you cannot find any information about the contractor or his company, this may be an indication that things are not all they seem.
Do a Background Check
It might be a good idea to conduct a background check on the contractor. A background check will uncover if anything has ever been filed against them in regards to their business practices or if they have any criminal history at all. If there are no red flags that show up when doing a search, then you should feel more comfortable about hiring the contractor.
Get it in Writing
Make sure that everything you discuss with your contractor gets put into writing before beginning any work on your home improvement project. Putting everything in writing helps prevent misunderstandings about timeframes and services performed. You can also use these records if problems arise later down the road. It is best to avoid any contractor that has no written record or contracts.
Get Quotes from Multiple Contractors
Just because you are hiring only one contractor to help with your home improvement project doesn't mean you should hire the cheapest bidder. There are hidden costs and other charges that should be considered, so it is best to get quotes from multiple contractors before choosing which company to work with. If quotes vary greatly, this might also be a red flag, so do some research on each company before making any decisions.
Beware of Sudden Price Increases
A sudden increase in prices may indicate that your contractor is trying to take advantage of you, especially if you have already got several bids for the job. A common tactic used by unscrupulous contractors is to provide lowball bids just to get you interested. Once the project has already started, they will raise their prices unexpectedly. It would also be helpful to avoid any contractor who mentions additional charges or fees on top of what was discussed at first so you can protect yourself from shady contractors.
Do Not Pay More than 50 Percent Upfront
When your contractor asks for more than half of the total price upfront, it could mean that he needs the money quickly and does not intend on finishing the job. Never pay more than half of your total payment upfront because you might never see that money again if something were to happen that prevented your contractor from completing your home improvement project. You can protect yourself from shady contractors by only paying after the job has been completed to your satisfaction.
Never Pay Cash
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from shady contractors is to never pay cash for any reason, especially if you are dealing with a contractor who has no written record of previous work or contracts. If your contractor insists on payment in cash or asks you not to tell anyone else about your transaction, there is a good chance it is because he is trying to avoid taxes and other legal issues.
Many different types of companies offer home improvement services, but it's important to do some research before choosing which company might be right for your project. Always remember that when dealing with any contractor, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Protect yourself from shady contractors by doing your homework and getting all necessary written documentation before beginning any project with them.