|A few tips if you are looking to hire a handyman, painter, or contractor of any type. I hope
these help you with your selection of the right person for your job. Don't let your desire
to save money blind you to the telltale signs.
1. Look for red flags from the start - A contractor that doesn't return calls or messages or is
difficult to reach, will probably be harder to reach once the job starts. Estimates should be detailed
and complete. They should not consist of a few scribbles and a price!
2. Be observant - A contractor's appearance, equipment and vehicle may be a good indication of the
work he does and the way he conducts his business. If he shows up first thing in the morning looking
like he has been working all day, you may want to heed the signs. How he takes care of his truck,
tools, and equipment can be a good indication of how he will take care of you and your job.
3. Beware of the low ball offer - Many contractors will offer a low price in order to get the job.
Then, once the job is underway, present you with extra expenses not included in the original quote.
Make sure you discuss any possible additional charges that may present themselves before
committing to the contractor. A good contractor should be able to discuss all possibilities that may
occur. Always insist on a "firm" price whenever possible.
4. High up front percentage - Some jobs require a deposit prior to the start. If so, the deposit
should be a reasonable amount, in accordance with the materials needed to start the job, or materials
that need to be ordered to do the job. Never pay an unreasonable up front percentage. If the
contractor has most of the money for a job, he may not want to come back to do the job.
5. Limited time offers - Resist high pressure "limited time" offers. This could be a sign of an
insolvent contractor looking to take your money and run.
6. Contract changes - All contract changes should be in writing. An honest contractor will be happy
to do this. Any changes in materials should be discussed prior to use or installation.
7. Payment - When the job comes (almost) to an end and there is a small amount of work still to be
done, ALWAYS hold back a portion of money equal to the amount of work left. Final payment should
be upon completion of the last item. Many homeowners pay the balance just to be nice, and never see
the contractor again. The balance due is his incentive to finish the job. Don't take that away!
|Hiring Tips for Homeowners
|My Scope of Work Includes:
(but is not limited to)