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9 Warning Signs That You’re Dealing with a Bad Contractor

9 Warning Signs That You’re Dealing with a Bad Contractor

Your contractor needs to offer more than just a winning smile.

The sad truth is, there are a lot of supposedly professional professionals out there who are more than willing to leave you with the short end of the stick, delivering only empty promises, poor communication, and low-quality work.


So, how can you tell the good from the bad?

Red Flags to Watch for While Hiring a Contractor

#1 Slow to deliver credentials, and has no permanent work address

Sure, some contractors may have a home office, but they still need to be able to provide proof that they’re fully licensed, credentialed, insured, and local. Don’t take their word for it.

#2 Fast Quotes Delivered Out of Thin Air

No matter how skilled or experienced you are (or claim to be), an official estimate can’t be guess-timated right on the spot. The whole scope of the work needs to be factored in and carefully assessed. If they come up with a figure after 10 minutes of standing in your backyard, don’t be impressed.

#3 High Pressure Sales Tactics

A contractor should be your ally in the home improvement process, not someone pushing you along to make a snap decision. If a sale price or discount on materials is supposedly evaporating as you wait, do yourself a favor and move on.

#4 Scare Tactics

A reputable contractor will help you understand the whole scope of your project, and will often point out additional improvements that would be advantageous to deal with at the same time. This should be educational, not fear-fueled scare tactics. If they are threatening calamity and destruction if you don’t approve their suggestions, that should definitely be a red flag.

#5 No Portfolio and No Referrals

Your contractor should be able to provide references and examples of previous work for you to peruse. It’s essential that you can validate exactly why they can be trusted with your home (and money).  Don’t just read the testimonials on their website.  

#6 Large Payments in Advance

While some money up front may be necessary to cover materials, this should really never exceed 20-30% of the total.

#7 Most of Your Questions and Concerns Are Answered Like This:

how to find a quality contractor

#8 Nothing in Writing or Guaranteed

Remember how we mentioned that winning smile? Well, if that and a thumbs-up is the only guarantee or peace of mind you’re being offered, you should find a new contractor. Ask for a firm timetable in writing before the work commences.

#9 No Insurance

We touched on this above, but it bears repeating. Even the most careful, skillful workers can experience a freak accident. If this should occur, you don’t want to be held liable in any way. Make sure your contractor provides proof of their sufficient coverage including workman’s compensation insurance that protects you when Bob, not using proper fall protection, falls off your roof.  Without this protection the homeowner could be liable for injuries.  As a general rule, lawyers go after the entity with the most money- protect yourself with due diligence!

Why are we sharing all of this?

Here at Webfoot, we want to not only provide seriously great services as a Central Oregon painting and construction contractor, but also to help educate. We want you to have an awesome home improvement experience, whether you’re building, remodeling, or painting, and that starts with finding the right pro for the job.

If you have questions about your house painting needs, or deck design and construction, be sure to give us a call! We’ll warn you that while we do have winning smiles, we also have the credentials, experience, and track record to back it up.

Take a look at some of our recent Projects

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