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Red Flags When Hiring a Contractor

If you hire the wrong contractor or fail to take adequate precautions, your project could go terribly wrong. An experienced contractor can make the process as smooth as possible. To ensure your project stays on track and meets your expectations, make sure you hire the right professional for the job by avoiding these common mistakes.


1. A Contractor Asking for Payment or Large Deposit Before Work is Done


If Asking Too Much Up Front, Not a Good Contractor

Many homeowners have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors who demand large deposits or full payment upfront and then disappear without performing or finishing the work. Don't be a victim - avoid contractors who ask for large or full upfront sums or cash. Insist on a contract signed by both parties with payments scheduled based on the work complete. The standard down payment in most states is 10-20 percent.

2. A Contractor Promising to Waive Your Deductible


If you are having work done to your home due to an insurance claim, you will have to pay for your deductible amount that is in your policy. It is against the law in the state of Texas for a contractor to waive an insurance deductible. Although it may be tempting to take them up on their offer, find a different contractor. A contractor who offers to waive your deductible is most likely making up the difference by cutting corners or using lower quality products. That can lead to more claims and repairs over time.


This law was implemented in 2019, and violators could get up to a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If a contractor offers to waive a deductible, you can also report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508.


You can also find out more information at the Texas Department of Insurance website.


3. Choosing the Lowest Priced Contractor




What is the ultimate goal of your project? You will want to find the best work for the best value. You want to make sure the contractor you choose provides high-quality materials and high-quality installation.


Of course you want to save money on your project, but choosing a contractor on price alone is not the way to do it. It makes sense that you “get what you pay for”, and contractors offering an extremely low price may cut corners in installation and not use good materials. While you’ll pay a bit more for a high-quality contractor, you are more likely to end up with a great finished product.



4. Not Doing Your Research


Don't be afraid to ask a potential contractor for references. These are invaluable in determining how they have handled previous projects.


Ask questions. You can find out a lot about a contractor's knowledge and your ability to communicate with them by asking questions. Here are a few questions you might ask:


How long have you used your crew?
How long have you been in business?
Have you performed work in the area?
How can I reach out during the process?
How experienced is your crew?


Be wary in only using online review sources such as Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau to make your decision. Although they can provide some useful feedback, there have been numerous complaints by small businesses about the misinformation that can be on these sites and investigations by Time, The Los Angeles Times, and ABC News about this issue. There is also a common practice of competitors leaving false reviews can be misleading. Look for reviews that have comments and not just "stars".

5. Proceeding With a Project With a Handshake Deal


Handshake Deal Means You're Hiring the Wrong Contractor

The project you are going to hire a contractor to do requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a large amount of money to be invested.


The only person who is protected by a verbal deal is an unscrupulous contractor. If you fail to get everything in writing, you may end up having to do it all over again.

6. The Contract is Vague


Vague Contract Means You're Hiring the Wrong Contractor

The contract presented by your contractor should be detailed. You should be wary of a contract that lacks details regarding the scope of work for the project, responsibilities, payment schedules, and start and stop times. The scope of work and all details must be included in your written agreements. Don’t make assumptions about what will be included in the project. These details need to be part of the initial agreement to avoid potential conflicts as your project progresses. For example, you might assume that paint would be included in the cost of painting your house, or debris removal is included in a demo, but if it’s not in the contract, you might be paying extra.


Bishop Builders will not be the lowest bid you receive. What you will get is a fair price, proper documentation/photographs that are crucial for insurance claims, expert construction quality that adheres to professional practices, and peace of mind that the job is done right.


Bishop Builders is ready to help with your home or business projects. We offer expert advice and quality, professional construction services. Contact us at 1-817-221-0873 or info@bishopbuilders.com to get started on your next home improvement project!



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