5 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Design Build Company or Contractor
Choosing the right design-build firm is one of the most important parts of remodeling or rebuilding your home. Every homeowner wants to pinpoint potential issues with a contractor before contracts are signed or large amounts of money are invested. The following are 5 red flags of a potentially problematic contractor to help you catch the problem early before serious issues arise.
The Bid is Exceptionally Low
When investment range is your bottom line, an outstandingly low quote can really grab your attention. An exceptionally low quote should be a warning sign. A popular scam among unscrupulous contractors is to offer a bid that’s too good to be true, then add charges, additional fees, and change orders throughout the project. Due to ‘unforeseen problems,’ your initial low quote suddenly turns costs much more while you feel like a hostage. Your contractor should offer a fair price that considers the quality of work, design details and specific challenges of your project.
They Don’t Want to Put Anything in Writing
A potentially problematic contractor sees putting anything in writing as an inconvenience or complication. No matter how big or small the job, a contract is essential to protect both you and the contractor. Being unwilling to sign a contract is a big red flag that your contractor is potentially dishonest, unwilling to fulfill obligations or lock in an agreed upon price before work starts.
No Insurance, License or Bond
Insurance, licensing, and bonds help to protect your home, the work done, the workers in your home and your family. A professional Design-Build firm will always be willing to provide their license and proof of liability, errors, and omission and workers compensation insurance upfront to assure their qualifications and your peace of mind. If a contractor is unwilling to provide a copy of their license insurance or bond, you can also inquire about their status with the California State License Board. Any hiccups with having or providing a license should be a red flag.
They Ask for too Much Money Upfront
Is your contractor asking for the full investment amount before work has even started? Does the deposit for your project seem out of balance? If your contractor is asking for too much upfront, it could be a warning sign that things aren’t right. The amount of money required to start your project should cover initial project management fees and material ordering. Ask for clarification so that you understand what is covered by the initial start payment.
Lack of Preparation and Plans
If your contractor consistently turns up unprepared, doesn’t want to work with you on plans for your project, or shows signs of being late and disorganized early in the process, this may not be someone you want to work with. As a homeowner, you want to work with a contractor who is keen to develop your projects, communicate with you regarding plans, and is always organized and prepared for work.
Keep an eye out for these 5 warning signs when choosing a design-build firm for your next home remodeling project. Paying attention and doing your research before work starts can help you avoid messy complications and losses of time and money, ensuring success for your project.