Our homes are more than just real estate investments. They are places of refuge and privacy where we control who comes in. When you hire a contractor for a job in your home, you’re allowing them into your personal world and paying them to improve it.
Some contractors see your home as a project, a job that is a means to an end. They’re in it to see how much money they can charge you in updating or repairing your home. Such companies or individuals aren’t concerned with what your goals are for your home and may try to charge you thousands for an end result you don’t want.
Assuming a contractor you are considering is legally legit, here are 3 red flags to pay attention to in order to avoid a renovation or remodel nightmare:
Communication is key during a home construction project. If a contractor prospect misses a meeting with you or can’t return your calls or emails in a timely manner, then it’s possible they will become harder to reach once the project is under way. You want to know before you sign the contract that the contractor you hire will take you and your home seriously.
In every industry you can find businesses that will do what they can to make you feel pressured into jumping the gun on an exchange before you feel comfortable with it. Home construction is no different. If you meet with a contractor and they seem aggressive about getting the contract signed, take a step back and reevaluate if they’re a good match. Sure, they want to show you your business is important to them, but you shouldn’t feel forced into an arrangement. Choose a business that will discuss your concerns and help you feel less tense about the work ahead.
References are how you gauge what to expect from your contractor, outside of what the contractor will tell you. Your contractor should be open with sharing the opinions of their past clients. If a contractor doesn’t have any references, it could mean that they either have little construction experience or they’re hiding bad reviews. Check out the contractor’s online presence for input from past clients or speak directly with a previous client to get their opinion. With written reviews, be sure to check when they were shared. A lot can happen in a few years and you’ll want to be sure that your contractor has been doing steady work more recently that clients like.
In the end, trust your gut. Home renovations and remodels are intimate experiences that come with their own version of stress. You don’t need to add to the stress by hiring a contractor that makes you feel anxious or uncomfortable. Do your research and hire someone you trust. You ultimately have control over your home project and the contractor’s role is to advise you and get the work done.