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How To Spot A Crooked Contractor

If you need some work done on your house or are thinking about embarking on a new construction project, one of the first things you need to do is find a contractor. But how can you be sure that the contractor you choose is trustworthy, reliable, and honest? Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people may take your money and do a shoddy job or, worse yet, steal from you. Luckily, some key signs can help you spot a crooked contractor!

Why Having A Contractor Is Essential For Any Project

A reliable and experienced contractor is essential for any home improvement or remodeling project. Not only can they handle the work with skill, but they are also knowledgeable in all facets of the process and will save you time and money by getting the job done right the first time around, which includes knowing the city’s building codes, which can be huge since overlooking such details can cause costly delays or fines.

Furthermore, having a reliable contractor means you are dealing with someone who understands safety priorities and keeps your project moving forward according to plan. No matter what kind of project you have in mind, enlisting a reliable contractor is an invaluable step that allows your vision to be realized.

They Have An Unprofessional Demeanor


While contractors can have an unprofessional demeanor for many different reasons, it is essential to recognize that this behavior could be a red flag. For example, an unprofessional attitude might indicate that their workmanship is unreliable on the job site, and they may also be trying to hide poor customer service. Furthermore, if they’re willing to cut corners when it comes to matters like manners and politeness in communication, then chances are they’ll be cutting corners where it counts — in their actual work.

While this doesn’t always mean that a contractor is not fit for the job, it is essential to consider how they conduct themselves professionally since it can often provide insight into how reliable their services are.

They Don’t Offer A Written Contract


Not having a written contract is another huge red flag when dealing with any contractor. A legitimate contractor will be enthusiastic about getting details down on paper to protect you and yourself from potential issues. When a contractor is reluctant to put anything in writing, it could indicate that they don’t want you to have a record of your agreed-upon arrangements. If a contractor tries to convince you there’s no need for a written contract, know that this individual likely doesn’t intend to keep their end of the bargain once their services have been completed.

Having detailed paperwork can help ensure the process runs smoothly and those problems will be avoided or resolved quickly if they arise. Having the terms laid out clearly in black and white is essential so everyone is on the same page and expectations are communicated upfront. The lack of a contract sets up an environment full of suspicion and mistrust, potentially leading to difficulties during your project.

They Don’t Have Any References


When considering hiring a contractor, references are a great way to learn more about their work and determine if they are trustworthy. A contractor who does not provide any references or vague information about past projects they have completed might be attempting to hide something. It is likely that the contractor may have been fired from previous jobs or did not fulfill the client’s expectations of quality service.

Not providing clear references could indicate that the contractor has never previously handled large or complex construction projects or previously worked with multiple clients. Therefore, it would be wise to do your due diligence when researching contractors before deciding and looking at other factors, such as their portfolio and customer reviews, to have peace of mind that you are selecting the best option for your needs.

They Avoid Pulling Permits


As much as projects may seem “minor” or mundane compared to large-scale construction work, pulling a permit is always necessary. Skipping this step exposes the work and future homeowner to severe risks. With no paperwork to back up the project, there is no proof of any rules or regulations being followed. This activity not only endangers the quality of craftsmanship but also shows that the contractor cuts corners.

Furthermore, a contractor who fails to pull permits can be charged with criminal penalties, which indicates they neither have proper knowledge nor experience in the job they are doing and are willing to take risks knowing that they may receive unpunished repercussions. Avoiding pulling permits is a clear sign of a crooked contractor.

They Ask For A Lot Of Money Upfront


A contractor that insists on getting a large sum of money at the start of a job is someone to watch out for. While some contractors may get a small amount of money for materials or services, a contractor who asks for a large sum of money upfront may be trying to take advantage of you or simply doesn’t have the resources needed to complete your project. A reputable contractor will typically only request payments once specific milestones have been met and the work is completed.

Suppose you are dealing with a contractor that requests significant amounts of money. In that case, it is a good idea to carefully review their past work and references to ensure they are reliable. And if you cannot get a clear sense of their past performance or track record, it may be best to look elsewhere for a contractor who can provide the high-quality work you are looking for.

They Are Hard To Get Ahold Of


Having difficulty getting ahold of a contractor can also indicate larger problems potentially afoot. In the best-case scenario, it’s an indication that their business is doing well and they’re swamped with offers and customers; however, there’s also cause for alarm if you’re constantly left waiting for your contractor to get back to you or are repeatedly left in the dark over details.

Before hiring a contractor, it’s worth conversing with them to assess how responsive and communicative they are. It could signal they may not have the proper training or certifications to back up what they claim in their advertisements, which could leave you with a faulty or unfinished job once the full bill is due. If your interactions leave you feeling uneasy, it may be a good idea to consider other options for your construction project.

Be Prepared To Spot A Crooked Contractor!

Although it can be hard to spot a crooked contractor from just a few meetings or interactions, there are some key signs to watch out for when choosing a contractor for your next construction project. By being mindful of these major red flags, you can help ensure that you work with a trustworthy and reputable contractor who will provide the high-quality work you deserve. Because at the end of the day, your home is one of your biggest investments, and it’s essential to feel confident in the work being done on it!