Dealing with a bad contractor, remodeling your home or building a new one can be hectic. It’s hardly something you can handle on your own which leads many homeowners to hire a contractor. But what happens when the contractor takes your money and runs for it. Or does a sloppy job, delays your project, and much more horrible things? The good news is, there is something you can do about these situations and the bad news is you hardly come away without a form of loss.
Red flags to look out for when hiring a contractor
It is possible to avoid running into a bad contractor in the first place. It is much cheaper and easier than having to deal with a bad one later. Here are some red flags to look out for when hiring.
- A contractor that solicits door to door
A good contractor is usually too busy to go from door to door soliciting jobs. A bad one, however, has the time. Some homeowners fall victim to hiring a contractor that showed up at their door and shaking hands on an agreement that was never signed. The result of this is that the contractor can do as they please and there’s no legal agreement to hold them by.
- They bid lower than normal
As a rule of thumb, you should not go with the first contractor you see or the one with the lowest price. Be sure to compare up to three or even more contractor bids before deciding and be wary of those with a bid lower than normal. Another angle to this is contractors that claim they want to use your work for advertising purposes. Refuse such offers that seem to include cutting corners.
- They don’t get the permits themselves
A professional contractor gets the necessary permits themselves. They do not put that responsibility on the homeowner. A contractor that requests you to do this is probably unlicensed or has a bad reputation.
- The contractor wants to be paid the whole fee upfront
This is clearly a scam. You should only pay a small percentage of the total fee upfront.
How to deal with a bad contractor
- Fire the contractor
This is the first and quickest way out. As soon as you notice the signs don’t allow your loss go any further. Fire the contractor immediately and end the contract. Use your documentation of the work agreement and their actions as your defense.
- Hire an attorney
In case the contractor has escaped with your money or doesn’t finish the job, you can hire an attorney to pursue them. This will cost you the attorney’s fees and time but weigh your other options and decide.
- File complaints and post public review
If you are unable to take solid legal action, you can always file complaints on review websites and leave a public negative review stating your experience.
- Go to a small claims court
In a small claims court, you can do without an attorney. But there’s a limit that the plaintiff can sue for. Check for the limit before you proceed.
Let us know your experiences with dealing with a bad contractor
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