4 tips for hiring contractors

If there’s something going on with your home, you need to have someone fix it. That person might be a contractor who knows how to do home repairs or improvements. You want to make sure you hire the right person to do the job – after all, it is your home they’re going to be fixing. How can you be sure you’re hiring a reputable contractor? Sure, you’ve got gut instinct, but is there anything you should look out for? We’ve got some red flags you might want to watch out for when hiring contractors.

Watch out for these red flags when hiring a contractor.

1. Contractors that knock on your door or reach out to you instead of the other way around.

If a contractor comes to you – maybe they knock at the door or call you with a sales pitch – be a little suspicious. If there’s something wrong with your house, you should probably be the one to realize it and then do your own research to choose someone to fix it. The person standing on your doorstep may not be trying to offer repairs or services you actually need.

So, be a little wary and don’t be overly quick to agree. You should be the one to have contacted a contractor to do some repairs to your home.

2. Free inspections that you didn’t ask for.

Likewise, if someone shows up at your door and offers a “free inspection” for your home, you may want to put up your guard – especially if that inspection just happens to turn up problems with the house that you weren’t aware of. It’s a little bit suspicious that a problem conveniently emerges just as the contractor is paying you a visit. So, if someone offers a free inspection out of the blue, you might want to politely decline.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to get a second or even third opinion about the needed repair to your home. It can’t hurt to get multiple opinions from reputable contractors before making your decision.

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3. Discounted rates that are only offered that day.

If a contractor shows up offering a discounted rate that’s only valid that day, you may want to think twice. Maybe they’re trying to get you to make a rushed, hasty decision by offering a deal that seems like a great thing. You may need to be a little skeptical and a little realistic. Don’t fall into a trap of agreeing to a repair because it’s a “great deal”, only to learn the real consequences later.

4. Contractors asking for money in advance.

You may want to be a little leery if a contractor asks you for money in advance. A reputable contractor will want to make sure the job is done to the customer’s satisfaction. Think about it – you can’t go get a flat-screen TV without paying for it. Even if you promise to come back the next day with the money, the store probably wouldn’t let you take the TV. So, maybe think twice before handing over any money in advance of the work being done.

Contractors and insurance fraud.

Unfortunately, you also have to be on the watch for insurance fraud. Sometimes contractors might try to get you to use your home insurance for unnecessary repairs. Think of this – what if a contractor causes damage to your home on purpose, then gets you to use home insurance to cover it? You’d unintentionally be involved in insurance fraud. And then you could be held responsible for insurance fraud…which wouldn’t be good. Actually, that would probably turn into a bit of a sticky situation.

Okay, we’re not saying all of this because all contractors are about to try to dupe you, or because they want to commit insurance fraud. There are, of course, plenty of respectable, trustworthy, and honest businesses out there. But it’s important to be aware of certain scams that go around. You can do your own research to check out a company that you’re considering to do some repairs on your home. Anyways – take care when hiring contractors. You want the best of the best to work on your home, after all.

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