Nobody wants to be in the situation where you have to confront someone you’ve hired for shoddy work or bad business. But it happens. And since you’re the one paying for the job, it’s important that you both protect yourself and know what real life costs normally are, so you don’t lose your precious savings to bad business.
When a you and your contractor discuss the beginning work together, they should never ask for a large amount of money up front. Of course, every project needs a chunk of change to get started, but asking for anything more than fifteen percent should cause suspicion. The law in most states allows for no more than thirty-three percent up front, but even that is reserved for very special circumstances. So ask questions. Ask for details and then go home to review the proposal before agreeing to anything.
Beyond the fifteen percent your contractor asks for, they should have a working credit to work with for anything beyond that they might need to get started. If they don’t, this alone is a warning sign because there’s a chance that the last or previous jobs weren’t handled responsibly and resulted in their credit being revoked or denied. For obvious reasons, we’d recommend not working with these people.
Once the start up costs have been determined and agreed upon, all further costs should be due and dependant upon major milestones or aspect completion. For example, you’d pay the contractor after the completion of various phases such as framing, roofing, siding or electricity. Beware of a contractor that won’t work with you in this form and would rather tie payments to dates. This doesn’t promise you work ethic or completion - only pay schedule.
Lastly, as much as we all love hearing a low bid, too low of a bid is just as much a red flag as a high bid is. It’s a pretty common scam where a contractor will do whatever they can to assure you that your home will be used as an example for advertising purposes or as an example of their work for the business and as a result, they’re willing to cut you a great deal. Don’t trust this. Unfortunately, a low bid is, nine times out of ten, low quality work. We’d love for it to be different, but it just isn’t.
At the end of the day, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. And if things don’t feel consistent, they’re likely a lack of integrity going on. Ask questions, be clear and stick to your agreements. And of course, if you have any questions or are looking for a contractor you can trust, contact us at Unique Home Building and we’ll guide you home.