Making a mistake hiring the wrong contractor can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars more than necessary. That doesn’t even take into account the lost time and aggravation trying to get your project right.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes good people make when doing home renovations.
Mistake #1 – Not checking the contractor’s “credentials”
This is a no-brainer when hiring any contractor or handyman.. You want to make sure the contractor is properly licensed to do the work you need done AND properly insured so you can’t be sued in case someone gets hurt on your property. Many homeowners don’t like due diligence, because it’s time-consuming and you’ll need to pay for it yourself, but it’s the first line of defense to ensure your project gets done right.
Mistake #2 – Not checking the contractor’s history
If you’re hiring a legitimate contractor, simply ask the contractor to see a list of references where they’ve completed similar work to what you’re having done. If they won’t show it to you, you’ll need to decide to walk away from that contractor or take the unlikely chance that they “might” have the ability to get the job done.
Mistake #3 – Assuming and not asking the right questions
We frequently warn homeowners about trusting “social referrals” when it comes to hiring a contractor. Your neighbors may love what the contractors did to their kitchen, but our experience proves that it DOESN’T MEAN that they can replace your deck out back.
- Do they charge by the hour or by the project?
- What is their policy on pricing or change orders?
- What is their specialty?
You have to know the right questions to ask to get the REAL answers you need or you’re just asking for trouble down the road.
Mistake #4 – Ignoring your gut
There’s something to be said about your instinct. In this case, ONCE YOU’VE DONE YOUR DUE DILIGENCE, let those instincts be your guide. If you don’t get a good vibe, just imagine how bad it’ll be when your house is torn apart and the contractor refuses to finish the work.
Mistake #5 -Thinking that you won’t get ripped off
Whether you’re a janitor or a corporate CEO, everybody can be ripped off…and DO get ripped off; especially susceptible are homeowners who think they’re too smart to get taken.
Examine the fine print of the contract. Make sure the following is included (at a minimum): the deposit amount; a start and finish date; the schedule of payments; a clause about binding arbitration; and what the contractor will do if the you’re unhappy with their work.
Don’t make a mistake – get a professional warranty
If you still don’t know what to do to protect yourself and your home, get a professional warranty. A warranty will ensure all the necessary due diligence is completed and all of the little incidental things you may forget to do get done. The last thing you want to do is forget something you should have done, then wake up 3 months down the road and realize you have to spend an additional $20,000 to fix mistakes your “bad” contractor made.
Remember, this is YOUR home. It’s YOUR responsibility (not the contractor’s) to make sure your home renovation project gets done right.
ScamBLOCK can issue an affordable Home Improvement Guarantee to protect your next home renovation project. Call us for a FREE quote at 888-701-9740