Building Contractor

7 Warning Signs When Working With a Building Contractor

Every industry has its share of crooks and scams, and the construction and home remodeling industry is no exception. When hiring a building contractor for your Wellington home addition or remodeling project, you should look for a professional contractor who does good quality work at a reasonable price, but how do you know that the contractor you’re considering is honest, competent, and experienced?

To help you spot con artists in the remodeling industry, we are sharing 8 warning signs that can tell you that this contractor is not the right person to work on your property.


1. Unusual Payment Terms

Beware of the building contractor who asks you to pay an unreasonable amount of money upfront. Most of the states allow construction and remodeling contractors to ask for a maximum of 33 percent of the project budget upfront.

A professional, authentic contractor should not ask for more than 15 percent of the total project cost. Once you have made the upfront payment, create a plan that ties installment with major milestones of the project. For example, you may make an additional payment of 10 percent of the total project once the foundation work has been completed by the contractor.

2. Presence At The Construction Site

Another thing to consider is to know how much time does the contractor spends at your site. Do you see them working diligently on the project? What does the construction site look like in the morning and afternoon?

If you notice that your contractor is almost never present on the job site, you should consider asking them the reason for their absence. If they fail to give you a legitimate reason, such as meeting with subcontractors, or a visit to the local authority for permits and paperwork, you should consider hiring a new contractor for your project.

3. No Contract

A carefully drafted contract with clear working terms, time schedule, and scope of work can save you from disputes with the contractor. If the contractor insists on initiating work without presenting you a contract, it might be time you should start looking for another person for your job.

4. Poor Communication Skills

The building contractor is responsible to update you with project progress. A contractor, who fails to effectively communicate this information or is unwilling to tell you about estimated project completion date, is either incompetent to complete your project on time or has something to hide.

5. Attention to Detail and Organization

You need your project to be organized and perfect, and this completely depends on your building contractor. If they fail to follow the specifications and guidelines presented in the project plan and contract, it might be time to fire your contractor and start searching for the one who will get the work done right at the first attempt and according to your expectations and needs.

In order to avoid this problem of shoddy workmanship, you should visit the job site regularly and question the contractor immediately if you find something that’s not up to your expectations.

6. Management Skills

Your shortlisted contractor is responsible for the hiring of subcontractors and managing their work, but you should keep a check on the people they are hiring for your project. Consider the credentials and licensure of the subcontractors.

Also, notice how the contractor manages the subcontractors and other workers. If they are unable to handle the complaints and demands of the subcontractors, you should consider getting rid of them in the best interest of your project.

7. Building Contractor Competence

Your contractor should be able to take care of every task related to your project. If they ask you to get the building permits or negotiate with the subcontractors and suppliers, this could be a signal that they are either incompetent to do the work or are just too lazy. Whatever the issues, you hired the contractor to help you manage your project, and if they are incompetent to do the job, you may need to replace them.

While the overwhelming majority of remodeling and Wellington building contractors are experienced and professional, it is important that you look for these warning signs and take immediate action to save major problems in future.

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