DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   General Chit-Chat (
-   -   Contractor for Hire: Beware (

NOVA Pros 01-13-2009 08:46 AM

Contractor for Hire: Beware
I recently read an article that gave some warning signs that you are about to hire a bad contractor.

Some of those signs were:
1. The name, address, or phone number cannot be verified.
2. A special price will be given ONLY if you sign the contract today.
3. A contractor’s license or insurance is not provided or you cannot verify the information given.
4. The salesperson asks for payment up front for the entire job.
5. The deposit is required to be in cash or check to individual (instead of company).
6. The contractor does not give you a signed agreement or warranty of work done.

I wanted to share these and see if there are any other warning signs out there that should make us consider twice before hiring a contractor.


CraigFL 01-13-2009 09:39 AM

I'm very careful about this. Recently I checked out a person that was advertising on Craigslist and found he had be arrested many times for drug use as well as theft. Needless to say, this is not the type of person you want working for you.

If the person has a business, you will want to check with the Better Business Bureau. It will not be the definitive answer on them but you can get good information on their past performance.

Also be sure they have insurance!!

NOVA Pros 01-16-2009 09:11 AM

Thanks for that tip. I wouldn't have thought about checking with the BBB, but you are correct. They would have any "bad" info on the contractor.

I have learned to always make sure they have current insurance (and proof of it, not just the sign on their truck or a verbal).

Most helpful.


inspectorD 01-16-2009 11:34 AM

You need to call the insurance company to make sure the $ amount of the insured is valid. Anyone can make a certificate nowadays.;)

jaros bros. 01-16-2009 03:10 PM

The best thing for you to do is have them notify their insurance company to send you a certificate of insurance in the mail. You should never accept a proof from the contractor directly. Nowadays contractors are saying they have insurance when they don't or giving false paperwork. My insurance agent informed me of this last year. Contractors are advertising that they have it and nobody knows the difference. I can't even get a certificate sent to me, it has to go to my client via the insurance agent. Then if I cancel it, they will send a notice of cancellation to my clients that are certificate holders.

Josh Jaros (Jaros Bros. Construction)

TaskBoy 01-20-2009 12:30 AM

I'm in Calif. and we have the CSLB (state lic board) that provides a website where you can verify personnel, current lic status, insurance and even complaints against the contractor. I always looked up guys prior to hiring and found some that weren't current with insurance or even suspended from doing work. The same guys said in their ads that they were licensed (yeah but not that they were suspended).

The legit guys will have no prob having you call their insurance companies or references, etc.. Some of the legit guys realized that I checked with the lic. board as I revealed some otherwise unknown info about them. They complimented me for doing so. I guess that made them feel their investment in doing business right was worth it.

majakdragon 01-21-2009 08:38 AM

I always ask for their license and insurance paperwork. If they are not licensed, they cannot pull the proper permits. Un-permitted work falls back on the home owner in the end. Most States I have lived in require the contractor to provide the State or City with insurance proof. I also make sure permits are posted on site. Never believe a contractor when they say they have the permit, since an inspector "stopping by" won't either. You also need to inquire about any sub-contractors who may be hired to work on your property and make sure the contract includes "all" materials and labor involved. Getting sued after the job is complete, by a sub, is a real pain.

NOVA Pros 01-21-2009 10:26 AM

That's a great point to notify the insurance company directly, just to validate the insurance, and to make sure what kind of policy and what is covered.

It is always better to put some time into researching the contractor, instead of finding out later (after lots of money spent) that they were uninsured, especially if the job does not go right.

And I suspect, if they are being sneaky about insurance, the job will ultimately end up in a mess anyway.


MoreTime 02-01-2009 04:35 PM

You can also check Duns and Bradstreet some contractors have this Number and its a good orginization to be a member of. D&B Small Business Credit Solutions - Dun & Bradstreet

NOVA Pros 02-03-2009 08:04 AM

Contractor for Hire
I knew small business had a DUNS number, but didn't think about that for a general contractor.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:07 PM.