Jasmine Roth Reveals Major Red Flags To Look Out For When Hiring A Contractor

Unless you're an experienced contractor, not every home project can be done DIY style. When your house project requires the skills of an expert, a lot is at stake with your investment of time and money. So when you need to work with a contractor, you don't want to hand over the reins to just anyone. Renovation expert Jasmine Roth revealed some major red flags to look out for in one of her blog posts. 

Things such as poor communication and being entirely too agreeable were at the top of her list. "If the contractor doesn't have everything in writing and isn't a clear communicator, you need to quit while you're ahead," she writes on her blog. "In my opinion, the VERY WORST quality in a contractor is a 'yes man' (or woman!) because though that person might make you feel all warm and fuzzy at the beginning, if they say, 'Sure, we can do that,' to everything... and then it doesn't happen... the project isn't going to go well." But the list doesn't stop there. 

Apart from poor communication and never saying no, another red flag Roth warns is not pulling permits or licenses and insurance. "If the contractor isn't going to pull permits... run away now!" Roth suggests. These items are crucial to see from your contractor since this is proof your professional is equipped for the job. It also means they will complete your project while adhering to building codes, which reduces your risk of costly fines.

Other contractor red flags to look out for

While those are major red flags to look out for, there are some other things to look for when interviewing and hiring home contractors. One of those is too-good-to-believe prices, which doesn't sound like a bad thing but in reality, is. When it comes to home construction or renovation, a low bid submitted by a contractor can be a sign of a big problem. This could mean the contractor uses extremely cheap materials or will cut corners and not complete the job properly, leading to subpar results.

One of the biggest warning signs to note is a slew of bad or an absence of reviews. Some contractors may be starting out and haven't acquired enough business to garner a lot of reviews. If this is the case, you will need to use your judgment when speaking to them and evaluate their communication, knowledge, and details. On the flip side, if a business has been around for quite some time and has a plethora of unpleasant reviews or no reviews at all, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Sure, one or two negative reviews are to be expected, but if the vast majority are negative, it's time to look elsewhere.

Tips for finding a trustworthy contractor

So, how do you go about finding a trustworthy contractor to work with? One helpful tip is relying on word of mouth, which Roth agrees noting, "I recommend asking someone in your neighborhood that has remodeled their house who they recommend. If that contractor has worked on a house in your neighborhood, chances are they already understand your house a bit and it can save you time and money." Speaking to a fellow client about their contractor will help you better understand the level of satisfaction they experienced and what it was like working with them. 

Another way to really evaluate a contractor is through an evaluation. This face-to-face or phone meeting gives you the chance to inquire about a project and speak to the contractor to get a sense of their professionalism. You should also look at previous projects in their portfolio and talk with at least three reliable professionals, weighing the costs and job performance of each, before making a decision.