General contractors are not the same. Some contractors are genuine while others are a scam at their best. If you are planning a home renovation project or you want some construction work done altogether, there are high chances you are searching for a genuine contractor who will not rip you off.
Here are some insider tips to help you avoid getting ripped off by a general contractor.
- Do Your Homework
Get a minimum of three contractors who seem well suited for the project at hand. Check with industry associations, Angie’s List and any other credible bodies whether these contractors are genuine or they have a history of ripping off clients. You should also check to see the recent projects that each contractor has completed.
- Choose A Suitable Contractor From State-Licensed Contractors
Unscrupulous contractors that take advantage of innocent businesses and homeowners are mostly unlicensed. To minimize your risk of getting swindled by a prospective general contractor, make sure the contractor you opt for is licensed. Ask the contractor to give you their license number for you to verify with your state’s professional and business regulation department whether they are indeed licensed.
- Get References
If you already have a licensed contractor in mind, do not hesitate to request them to give you a couple of recent clients they have worked with. Contact those clients and enquire from them the kind of experience they had with the contractor. If the clients rate the contractor high, then obviously you are less likely to be swindled by the contractor. Normally, unscrupulous contractors do not have credible references they can give to prospective clients.
- Vet and verify
Check the credibility of the contractor you intend to entrust with your project before handing over the project to them. You can verify their credibility using Angie’s List before verifying their status with the right licensing agency. The contractors should provide you with proof of worker’s compensation insurance as well as bonding if applicable.
- Get Multiple Bids
Getting multiple bids is crucial for ensuring you are getting the fairest possible price. Do not just compare prices by different general contractors, but further check to see what exactly is featured in those costs. Be wary of contractors that quote prices that are much lower than the average competitors are. In most instances, scammers use low prices to lure potential clients. After landing the project, they either ask the client to pay the whole amount at once for work to commence. Alternatively, they can demand additional payments once work on the project has begun.
The easiest way to avoid getting ripped off by a prospective general contractor is by getting recommendations from homeowners or people who have worked with a genuine contractor before. As such, you should ask around for a suitable contractor from neighbors, family members, acquaintances, friends, and coworkers who have worked with a legitimate contractor before. Make sure they explain everything about the contractor in detail.
Getting a legitimate general contractor for any project can be much easier for those with a detailed understanding of what to look for in a genuine contractor. Hopefully, the above tips will help you choose a genuine contractor.