Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Contractor

Posted By: David Hageman Industry Trends ,

We hear it all the time. A home or business owner has a really bad experience with a contractor in both concerns of poor quality/workmanship, not doing what they say they are going to do, and ultimately thinking that all contractors are the same. Part of our core values is to do the right thing and help to educate as many individuals as possible to have a great experience with their home improvement project. 

Whether it is time to replace your roof, do a kitchen or bathroom remodel, update your curb appeal or any other construction project for that matter, it is important to choose the right contractor for the job. From my experience directly in our industry (roofing), there are many individuals who call themselves professionals. But many of these contractors are either “fly-by-night” contractors or contractors that have no experience dealing with roofing and insurance claim projects. Causing once again, that homeowner to have an unpleasant experience.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON MISTAKES AND WHAT CAN YOU DO?

When choosing a contractor, we highly recommend you avoid these common mistakes that homeowners make:

NOT HIRING A SPECIALIST 

In all industries, there are specialists and unfortunately generalists! Let’s say you have a problem with your tooth, you don’t go to multiple dentists to get “bids,” you go to one specialist to get the work done. The same goes for the home improvement/contracting industry. You want to find a specialist who focuses most of their time and attention on their “bread and butter” meaning they are experts in that type of work.

NOT DOING THEIR RESEARCH ON THE CONTRACTOR

This is HUGE! Property owners must do research on the contractor they want to hire. Here are two things you should look for:

  • Customer Reviews: Check the contractor’s website, social media, and the Better Business Bureau. If they do not have those outlets, RED FLAG. They are probably hiding something. 
  • References: Ask the contractor for local references! The contractor should be able to provide you with a list of past clients to give their testimonials.
HIRING AN UNLICENSED, UNREGISTERED, AND UNINSURED CONTRACTOR

You must make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured! All contractors should be able to provide you with this documentation. If they can’t, MAJOR RED FLAG! If you hire a contractor without the correct insurance, you put yourself at an extremely high risk of being held responsible for your home if something happens during your home project! Things happen, be prepared, and be protected. 

NOT HIRING A LOCAL CONTRACTOR

Find a LOCAL pro in your area! Not only does this contractor work in your direct community, but they give back to that same community.

NOT LOOKING FOR MANUFACTURERS DESIGNATIONS

Manufacturer designations are considered badges of honor. These designations require a contractor to uphold very high standards. They are the Mavericks of their flight school - the best of the best.  

NOT ASKING ABOUT PRODUCT OPTIONS 

With any building materials, there are different levels of quality. It is so important that you understand and find a contractor that focuses on quality products (and of course, quality installation). Within our industry, asphalt shingles are 95% of what homeowners have on their homes and not all are the same. 

In the end, choosing the right contractor can make or break your home improvement project and unfortunately, your bank account! Don’t make these same mistakes.

NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU SIGN

Some may be wary in signing an agreement with a contractor but this is the only instrument that binds that contractor to what they say they are going to do on your project. When you are evaluating your proposal/bid from your contractor (which can be confusing and difficult to navigate), you should look at these elements:

  • Costs

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Materials Breakdown

  • Permitting Fees

  • Warranty Terms


David Hageman is the owner of Glacier Property Solutions.