Not too long ago, Alpine gave advice on how to hire a qualified painting contractor. We thought why not give advice on how to not hire an unqualified painting contractor. It is very easy to fall for a good sales pitch and to take a shot in the dark. But here at Alpine, we don’t want you to be in the dark. We know just how valuable your time and money is. That is why below we have listed 10 red flags to recognize when hiring a painting contractor that won’t fly past a knowledgeable customer such as yourself.
1. Extremely Quick Estimates - There’s a lot to take into consideration when estimating a project. Not only the cost of materials, but the contractor must know exactly how many labor hours will be suitable to get the project complete and what the cost of labor should be. A fair quote will be thought-out carefully.
2. No ID or license - Without an ID or license, how are you to know if your contractor is certified? You want to make sure the professional you are hiring has reputable contact information and a permanent address. It is normal for a contractor to work out of their home, but be cautious if you are given just a PO Box.
3. Untrustworthy Referrals - A professional should be able to give you reliable referrals and pictures of previous work upon request. It is vital that you see what kind of work they do before hiring them.
4. Sign Now or Face the Consequences - A contractor who is telling you that you will lose a sale price or pay a higher rate if you wait to sign a contract are most likely an illegitimate contractor. Do not sign any contract on the same day as reviewing it.
5. Exaggerated Scope of Work - A dishonest contractor will find more problems than actually exist or will over exaggerate your problems to make you think that you can’t sit on them or your building will fall apart. An honest contractor will walk through the project with you, find existing problems, and recommend solutions.
6. Using Materials from Other Jobs - A remarkably great offer may not in fact be so great. Your contractor may be cutting cost by using left over material from their last project. A professional should not be ill-equipped when it comes to materials. They should be able to estimate the cost of materials needed to complete your project and order accordingly.
7. Cash Discount - Getting a deal just by paying with cash may sound nice until you run into a problem with the job. An unlawful contractor will ask for cash to keep the job off the books and avoid paying the IRS. Without a record of the transaction, the problem may never get resolved. Make sure to hire a professional with written records and a signed contract.
8. Payments Prior to Completed Work - With large jobs, your contractor may ask for money in advance to cover material cost. However, if asked for a large sum of money before the job even starts, your contractor may be scamming you. No more than a 1/3 deposit is good enough for a security of work.
9. Oral Contracts - A contract should be in writing, no ifs, ands, or buts. Oral contracts lead to miscommunication between both ends and no way to determine who is correct. Your contractor should have a contract written out with a timetable of the scope of work, how much it will cost, liability requirements and any other important information necessary and have both of you sign it.
10. No Insurance - Accidents happen. But if an accident happens and your contractor is not insured, you can be dealing with a lot of liability discrepancies and costs. Make sure to check if your contractor has insurance and how much they are covered before taking any risks.
Most importantly, if you have a bad feeling about a contractor and their business then go with your gut; you’re probably right. Remember, it’s your property and your money. Hire someone you can trust, someone who does not raise any red flags.
Credit to: 10 Red Flags to Spot a Bad Contractor. (n.d.). Red Flags. Retrieved August 5, 2014, from www.webfootpainting.com/