Signs That You Can Trust a Contractor

Making renovations to a home or business can be a stressful – and expensive – undertaking. This is doubly true when doing business with a contractor who’s unprofessional, unlicensed, or downright untrustworthy. So, if you’ll soon be tackling major renovations, it’s in your best interest to be as selective as possible when perusing your contractor options. To help decrease your odds of ending up with the wrong contractor, keep an eye out for the following signs.

Trust a Contractor

They’re Licensed, Certified or Registered to Work in Your Jurisdiction 

When exploring your options, make sure to limit yourself to contractors who are licensed, certified, or registered to practice their profession in your jurisdiction. Although hiring an unlicensed contractor who charges cheaper fees may be tempting, there are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea. 

To start with, you’re likely to get a much higher level of professionalism from a contractor with proper licensing, certification, or registration. Since they readily put forth the time and effort to earn their licensed status, it stands to reason that they possess a high degree of skill and confidence in their abilities. Conversely, a contractor who can’t be bothered to go about getting licensed, certified, or registered is unlikely to have the same type of work ethic or dedication as someone who went about things the right way.

Secondly, a licensed contractor is far more likely to guarantee their work than an unlicensed one. Since licensed contractors generally possess a higher level of skill than their unlicensed contemporaries, it’s only natural that they’d be more likely to provide clients with convenient warranties on their work. On the flip side, if any problems are discovered with an unlicensed contractor’s work after a job has been completed, you may have trouble getting them to take responsibility. Licensed contractors are also able to pull a wide variety of permits with relative ease, which can prove very useful in municipalities that utilize high-quality government permitting software.

They Stand by Their Work 

As touched upon above, licensed contractors often guarantee their work for varying time periods. In fact, in some states, they’re legally required to do so for a specific amount of time. However, some contractors are more than happy to offer guarantees that extend beyond their respective state-required warranty periods. The longer the guarantee, the more confident a contractor is likely to be in the quality of their work. So, when searching for the right contractor, make sure to take warranty periods – and warranty terms – into careful consideration. 

They’re Properly Insured 

Under no circumstances should you hire an uninsured contractor. Regardless of how trustworthy a contractor seems or how confident you are in their skills, a lack of insurance can have big financial consequences. For one thing, if any damage is caused to your property throughout the course of a contractor’s work, you may wind up having to pay for it if the contractor lacks insurance. Additionally, if a contractor becomes injured while working for you, you may have to take on any resultant medical costs. Depending on how serious an injury is, this can be a drain on your finances for years. 

So, before committing to hire a contractor, confirm that they’re covered by professional liability, general liability, worker’s compensation, commercial auto, and inland marine insurance. Should a contractor refuse to provide proof of insurance, take this as a red flag and start seeking out other potential candidates. Furthermore, depending on the job being undertaken, additional forms of insurance may be needed.    

They Have Positive Feedback 

Even if a contractor is licensed, insured and willing to guarantee their work, it’s important to consider feedback from past clients. Customer reviews can tell you a lot about someone’s work ethic, honesty, and general reliability. Fortunately, with so many convenient contractor review sites on the web, finding relevant feedback is easier than ever.They Have Positive Feedback

Few things are more costly, aggravating, and outright stressful as giving your business to the wrong contractor. Contractors who are unprofessional, unskilled, or dishonest can turn even minor repairs and renovations into financially consequential nightmares. With this in mind, make a point of being discerning the next time you find yourself in need of a contractor’s services. So, when seeking out suitable contractors, take care to ask questions, do your homework and be on the lookout for the signs discussed above.