5 Signs You Hired A Bad Contractor
Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Welcome to our website and blog! We are here to provide you with the best experience possible, and we decided we would start with a few situations you have probably seen in the past.
Contractors have been given the bad nickname of CON-tractors (from the word con, con-man, etc) because of a few bad ones. There are always people that are not interested in working hard for their money, but instead choose to CON people. We strive to be above the rest, always improving, always working hard to achieve maximum satisfaction from our clients, and we hope you will be one of those satisfied clients!
We found this website that had 5 signs that you hired a bad contractor, but we didn't agree with everything they said so we decided to make a list of our own.
Here are our 5 signs you hired a bad contractor (and how to find a good one):
1. They are unreachable.
Too many contractors don't answer their phones, reply to emails, etc. They're flying by the seat of their pants, hoping they will still get the job when they feel like working again. Avoid these at all costs, because the communication doesn't improve after the beginning of the project, it just gets worse. Look for a professional company (local, small companies are excellent at this because their local neighbors/businesses are their bread and butter) that answer phone calls, questions, emails promptly. If they're too busy they'll be honest with you and tell you they're busy and your job is going to have to wait 2 or 3 weeks. Choose wisely...
2. They don't like contracts (or at least email agreements).
Why would you hand over a check for materials or deposit without a contract/agreement of some sort? Too many homeowners/business owners are doing just that! Deposits are necessary in the trades, materials do not pay for themselves, especially custom-order items, but too many clients put themselves in a bad place by allowing themselves to be vulnerable to a con-man. If you're giving your contractor a deposit or payment before work is completed, make sure there is a contract or agreement in place, even an email conversation. Make sure the price is clearly discussed, and actual work to be completed is clearly explained.
3. They ask for too much money upfront.
Just like the previous point, contracts are a must. Agreements are excellent. But don't be fooled, just because you have a contract or agreement with a contractor, it doesn't mean they will finish the job. On most jobs that take days or weeks, a contractor will require a deposit. That deposit will usually cover materials, rental of special equipment/tools, etc. Please, please do not pay the full amount upfront! There should be a deposit, usually about 20-30% of a job cost (different for different trades, jobs, etc), but the deposit usually should not exceed 50% of the total cost. A contractor that requires larger deposits should easily explain why they require it. If they cannot, they may have financial issues or are attempting to con you.
4. They don't have the right tools for the job.
Do you trust a doctor that only has a pocketknife, a needle and thread, and a stethoscope? Probably not, right? Then why would you trust a contractor that doesn't have the right tools for the job? A contractor that is competent and capable will have the necessary hand tools as well as specialty tools. Yes, there are certain tools (think scissor/boom lifts, trenchers, etc) that will need to be rented, but a competent contractor will always be able to rent them, have them delivered/picked up. You should not have to deal with the rental of tools for the contractor or the borrowing of tools by the contractor. If you run into one of those, run! Find one that clearly has the tools, knowledge, ability to get the job done and done right!
5. They are not licensed or not insured.
It is YOUR responsibility as the home/business owner to check if your contractor is licensed or insured. Don't just take their word for it, stay away from contractors that aren't licensed and insured because it can cost you thousands in damage repair, liability, etc.
To check your contractor's license with the state of South Carolina, you can go the the LLR website here. Keep in mind, there is a residential and a commercial licensing board and commercial contractors can do both residential and commercial work.
To check your contractor's insurance and coverage, you should ask them for a certificate or contact information so you can call their insurance company and check for a valid and current policy.