In our last article, we discussed hiring a contractor. There are red flags in every profession. Here’s what you should look for when hiring a contractor.
Of course, every contractor is allowed to protect himself or herself by asking for a deposit. Customers have also been known to rip service providers off. But it the contractor asks for full payment upfront, you might want to be wary.
It would be better to set a payment schedule. This will help the contractor meet his or her expenses while easing the burden on you. It also softens the blow if the contractor decides to slip away before the job is done.
If the contractor tells you they only accept cash, it might be to avoid being victimized him/herself. More likely there are reasons he/she can’t run this through a business. Or in some cases, you might become the victim of a scam. Don’t pay cash if you can avoid it. Credit card companies or banks will go to bat for you if you’ve been cheated.
Again, take your time and secure contractors as team members BEFORE you require their services.
When the contractor provides no paperwork, you’ll have nothing to stand on if a problem comes up. Even if they deliver on the promise to finish the job, unless you’re both on the same page vis-à-vis in writing, you may end up on the losing end of the deal. Or it may cost you more than what you agreed to. No paperwork, no job.
PO Box Only
If your contractor has no street address and operates his/her business from a PO Box, check into it before hiring. This is not necessarily a shady company. Many people operate businesses from home, especially since the economic decline almost a decade ago. But it is a red flag and an indication that you need to look further.
No Name on Truck
A contractor—or any businessperson—would be crazy not to put their business name on the side of their truck. It’s free advertising. If you’re thinking of working with a contractor, in this case, be careful. Be REALLY careful.
Again, many people work from home; especially small business owners. Be sure to vet no name contractors carefully. If everything checks out you should be fine.
All of these red flags are warnings to heed and perform due diligence. Again, take your time and secure contractors as team members BEFORE you require their services.