Contractors have bad reputations. The construction industry consistently ranks first or second for the most complaints in the annual Better Business Bureau report. It should not be this way. There are many ways to guard yourself against shoddy workmanship or a scam artist in the guise of a contractor. Here are five tips.
1. Background Check – as cumbersome and time consuming as it might be, it is always a good idea to follow through on references, certifications, proof of workers compensation and required licenses from state and local municipalities.
2. Estimates - When choosing a contractor, always get several estimates on the needed repair.
3. Price - If the price sounds too good to be true it probably is a scam. There are lots of hidden clauses and fine print when it comes to low pricing. Consider
4. Materials – it is important that the materials that are being used are industry standard. Substandard materials and inferior products may look great initially but will wear off with time. As the homeowner you can buy the materials yourself or accompany your contractor to the warehouse he is purchasing the bigger items from.
5. Hold Back Clause -- When having major work done, ensure that your contract has a hold-back clause where you can withhold the final payment until 30 days after completion of a project. This will help you guard against things like a roof that might leak after it has been repaired.