I often run into customers who are having issues with contractors, and thought we can discuss this important subject to spot these issues, or contractor red flags. How to spot whether you are about to get into trouble, what to look for, and why does this happen?
1. Do not be in a hurry to pick the cheapest guy for the job. They may be under-biding for the job! The cheapest guy is the most likely to get you into trouble!
2. The contractor is doing too Many Jobs and your job is rushed. He’s not paying attention to your job, or missing details, and using shortcuts to get things done.
3. The contractor built a minimum budget and then tries to push you to high-priced items and suppliers, and is getting paid at the back-end. This will increase your budget and cause stress.
4. The contractor is are giving you too many change orders. A well-planned project shouldn’t have many change orders. Either he deliberately under-bid on the job, or didn’t plan properly. This will increase your budget and cause stress between you and the contractor.
5. The contractor is short of money, and wants to be paid as soon as possible. He may not be paying his subcontractors (or suppliers) and the subcontractors can walk off the job, stopping all the work. You may get a mechanics lien on the property and will not be able to sell or refinance the property, until the lien is removed. If you don’t pay him, he can issue a “stop order,” and the job could sit idle.
6. The contractor is not showing up on the job site. He’s busy doing too many other things, running too many other projects, or hiding from sub-contractors, who want to get paid. You and your project will suffer.
7. Contractor not responding promptly. A good contractor is your partner in the project, and should be easily reachable. He should be fully accountable for the work – if he’s not available, he may be trying to hide from lack of results.
8. Contractor is not engaged and does not know what is going on with your project. He’s doing too many other things, or hiding from you or the sub contractors, for lack of accountability.
9. The Contractor is unorganized. He can’t find receipts, approvals, and has trouble getting things together. Sooner or later this will cause you delays or additional costs.
10. The contractor has issues with the CSLB (Contractor State License Board), city government, or county courts. He may owe his creditors a lot of money, and that’s where his attention is.
That’s a quick description of contractor red flags that can help you spot these issues ahead of time so you can successfully build your project!
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