If you have settled into a long-term home, then you will most likely consider remodeling at some point to update your home. There are various reasons for remodeling, including updating a home after you have saved up income, making your home more efficient, or even fixing leaks or cracks that occur over time. Hiring a remodeling company is a vital part of the remodeling process.
If you are interested in remodeling your home and hiring a contractor, read on to educate yourself on the major red flags to look out for when picking a company.
Know What to Look For
Below are listed the five important red flags to be aware of and to avoid when hiring a remodeling company.
- The Estimate is Significantly Lower or Higher- One of the first stages in hiring a remodeling company is to get bids or estimates from several different choices. It is a common misconception that you should just take the lowest estimate because the work is the same when the cheapest estimate is probably the mark of a lazy contractor who is planning on cutting corners and keeping their costs as low as possible. A bid that is too high might be indicative of a company trying to get as much money for a job as possible. To avoid these red flags, throw out the estimates on either extreme, then pick from the median bids.
- Wants to be Paid in Cash or No Contract- One way for contractors to scam homeowners or skirt legal ramifications is to ask to get paid in cash and avoid having a signed contract. Without being bound in writing, it may be hard to hold a liable should they perform a subpar job. The same can be true for a company that asks to be paid in cash only, as it is harder to document.
- Wants Too Large a Percentage Upfront- Even if a bid is appropriate, some companies may seek a lot, or all, of their payment upfront. Why they might claim this is to cover their costs, it is actually a sign that they may try to take your money and run. In addition, you give up control of the situation as soon as money changes hands, as it will be hard to get back and companies have little incentive to finish the job promptly and correctly.
- Little to No References- Always ask for a list of references and permits when researching companies. If they are unable to provide quality references or the proper legal documents, then you should find a different contractor no matter how legitimate they seem or how cheap their estimate.
- Shady Business Practices- The final red flag to avoid when hiring a company to remodel your home is shady business practices or actions. Some of these are mentioned above, such as not wanting a contract or having few references, but it can also be as simple as not returning phone calls promptly or showing up on time. These are all signs that the company doesn’t care about their work and may decide to cut corners when remodeling your home or try to overcharge you.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that remodeling your home may be expensive and time-consuming but having to repair damages caused by a bad remodeling job can be even more costly. If you avoid the five major red flags above, you should be able to find a remodeling company that can complete your project in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.