How Can I Make Sure My Contractor Is Good?

How do I make sure a contractor is legitimate?

Check with friends, neighbors, or co-workers who’ve had improvement work done, and check out a contractor’s reputation on online ratings sites you trust.

Get written estimates from several firms, keeping in mind the lowest bidder may not be the best choice.

Also important: know the signs of a scam..

What should you not say to a contractor?

8 Things You Should Never Say to a Contractor’I’m not in a hurry’ … ‘I know a great roofer/electrician/cabinet installer!’ … ‘We had no idea this would be so expensive’ … ‘Why can’t you work during the thunderstorm/snow/heat wave?’ … ‘I’ll buy my own materials’ … ‘I can’t pay you today. … ‘I’ll pay upfront’ … ‘I’m old school.

What should I look for in a contractor?

5 Things to Look Out for in a Contractor AgreementWork Description and Schedule. The contractor agreement describes the work that the independent contractor must provide. … Payment. The contractor agreement should specify the payment for the services. … Termination. … Restraints. … Dispute Resolution.

How do you deal with a contractor?

8 Tips for Dealing With ContractorsKnow what you want.Expect messes, then work to minimize them.Don’t assume the world revolves around you.Be prepared for delays.Your help can hurt.Your job may cost more than you expect.Not all contractors are shady.Find a good contractor.

Should contractors ask for money up front?

A: It’s not uncommon for contractors to ask for a down payment up front to secure your spot on their schedule or purchase some of the job materials in advance. Asking for more than half of the project cost up front, though, is a big red flag. … I recommend tying payments to progress made during the job.

What should I ask a contractor before hiring?

15 Questions to Ask A General Contractor Before HiringAre you licensed for this type of work? … Which types of insurance do you carry? … How many building permits have you obtained in my area over the last two years? … Can you provide a list of references? … What is an expected timeline for this project? … Will you hire sub-contractors for the job?More items…•

Can I withhold money from a contractor?

You can withhold payments from a subcontractor if he does not perform the job in the time frame specified by contract. … You cannot withhold payment from a subcontractor for work performed, but you can withhold time penalties and the cost of your damages until the issue is resolved in court.

How do I know if my contractor is unhappy?

When talking with the contractor, explain why you are unhappy with his work, and get him to sign a document detailing the solutions that you have both agreed on, so that if he flakes, you have written proof. Remember to avoid writing an online review before talking with your contractor.

How do I not get scammed by a contractor?

By following a few simple tips, homeowners can greatly reduce the chances of getting taken:Written contract. Always have a written contract before any work is done on your home or property. … Proper credentials. Insist that your contractor have proper licensing and insurance and ask for proof. … References.

Do you negotiate with contractors?

Many contractors are willing to lower their cost or negotiate particular contract terms if they’re competing for the work. … However, make sure you provide each contractor with as many project details as possible, and thoroughly read each estimate to make sure you’re making apples-to-apples comparisons.

Can you sue a contractor for poor workmanship?

Breach. You must show that the party you plan to sue failed to meet his or her contractual obligations (“breach of contract” in legalese). This is usually the heart of the case — you’ll need to prove that the contractor failed to do agreed-on work or did work of unacceptably poor quality. Damages.

Do I have to pay a contractor for bad work?

Most important of all, inspect all work carefully before paying contractors for it. As the adage goes, possession is nine-tenths of the law, so if you don’t pay them for bad work, the onus is on them to pursue the matter in arbitration or small claims court to try and get money from you, rather than vice-versa.