Check Credentials, Be Thorough When Hiring A Contractor

Hiring a contractor is an important decision. Whether they are building you a new home or making a repairs, a lot of money may be changing hands. To help ensure you don’t spend more than necessary and have to dip into your emergency fund, there are many things that you should do when before hiring someone.

Check Credentials And Complaints
Before committing to hiring someone, it’s often advised to check their credentials and public complaints about them. It is important to know that the person you are hiring is legit.

You will also want to know if they have gotten any complaints from prior customers. When going over an estimate with a potential contractor, be sure to ask questions. You’ll want to have them provide proof of licensing and insurance. Additionally, they should belong to a national trade association.

When looking for complaints, you may want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a negative history. One red flag is a contractor that has changed their name recently. Often, this move is made to hide past complaints under another name.

Be Thorough With References
When hiring a contractor, you will also want to hear from references. However, it is important to research beyond simple photos of past work, as these could be fake. Be sure to ask for names of their past customers so you can contact them and ask about the work they had done.

Ask them if the contractor was able to stay on time and budget. If at all possible, it could be beneficial to go see their past work.

Beware Of Low Bidders
In an attempt to obtain your work, a contractor may offer you a low estimate. While this may look good on the surface, they could jack up your prices throughout the process. Another way contractors are able to offer a low bid is to substitute lower-quality materials on your project. This is where getting multiple estimates can come in handy. You can ask a separate contractor with a higher bid why another one was lower than theirs. This can help you find issues with their bid and also give you leverage with other contractors.

Beware Of A Contractor That Comes To Your Door
If a contractor comes unsolicited to your door offering services, there is a good chance they are a scam artist, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Be sure to ask these people for their drivers’ license so you know who they are if they end up scamming you. Additionally, you should do an extensive amount of research on their track record. In many cases, these people will try to get you to give money upfront or sign a contract quickly. Both of these are signs of a scammer.

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