A lot can go wrong when hiring a general contractor in LA for your project. We’ve heard many stories and have experience working with customers who’ve had poor outcomes with other contractors.
From the info we’ve gathered, these issues can be avoided, especially if you follow these three steps.
Do NOT Ask a Contractor for a Discount if You Pay Upfront
If you have the cash to cover a construction project, you may feel tempted to ask a contractor for a discount. It seems like a win-win right? The contractor gets more cash in hand and you get a nice little discount.
Do NOT do this because it can go wrong, fast!
The obvious and most common disaster is your contractor can just run off with your money. If you can, you should only pay upfront for the cost of materials. And don’t be afraid to ask for a receipt for the materials so you don’t get overcharged.
Don’t worry about putting your contractor at a disadvantage by not giving them profit upfront. In fact, if they beg for more money, that should be a red flag. Legit contractors have supplier accounts allowing them to purchase materials upfront.
Set up a payment schedule so the contractor can get paid as they complete milestones.
Do NOT Agree To a Gentleman’s Agreement
Never agree to work with a contractor without getting the agreement in writing. Even a piece of paper with signatures is miles better than a handshake agreement. Understand every line item you’re agreeing to and be detailed. Clear expectations avoid conflict in the future.
Again, a contractor asking for anything under the table or without a contract is a red flag. Reputable contractors want contracts because just as there are bad contractors, there are also bad customers.
Not Checking The Contractor’s License
From the stories we hear, this happens time and time again. Everything is good as the contractor you selected seems trustworthy and experienced. You ask if they’re licensed and they immediately spin up a story as to why that doesn’t matter.
Listen to this clearly.
Just because they have a huge portfolio does NOT mean they are trustworthy.
As Reagan said, “trust but verify”
Contractors fall on hard times, especially during recessions. When times get tough, unfortunately, some people abandon their morals and scam customers.
A qualified contractor will have a contractor’s license, business license, general liability insurance, and workers’ compensation.