Red Flags to Avoid when Hiring a Demolition Contractor
You face risks when hiring any contractor, but especially a demolition contractor. Not covering your bases and hiring the first crew you encounter is not an ideal approach. SV Demolition stresses that you take care in the interview and selection process. Here are a few red flags to watch for that may indicate a less than reputable contractor.
Cannot Verify References
We all want to believe that all contractors are honest, good, straight-forward and reliable. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. You need to do your research instead of hiring a contractor based solely on his/her word or at face value. Don’t be afraid to ask for a list of references that you can call. If they present you with excuses or anything other than a list of references from past projects, it may be a red flag to move on to someone else. Once you have a list of referrals, take time to place the phone calls and ask specific questions, not just general queries, such as:
- What project did they do for you?
- What was your overall experience like?
- Did they abide by the terms and conditions of the contract?
- Was the project completed to your satisfaction and on time?
- Did they complete the project within the agreed budget?
- Were they easy to communicate with?
- Would you recommend them?
Ask any questions that you feel are pertinent. This is a good general guideline of things to inquire about to determine the contractor’s ability and professionalism.
A Vague or Nonexistent Contract
One of the biggest and most costly mistakes a homeowner can make when hiring a contractor is failing to get everything in writing. It may seem intimidating because the contractor is supposed to be the expert. But, nothing should be overlooked, and a reputable contractor will welcome your inquiries and requests to put things into the contract. Keep a running list of details to nail down prior to deciding to hire this contractor for your project. A contract is legally binding, and once signed, it is the go-to document. At a minimum, a contract should include the following:
Project Details & Guidelines
- An in-depth description of the project, including the scope of the work, the materials/equipment that will be used, who will be at the job site (working and/or supervising)
- Project start date and estimated date of completion (If your project is on the larger, more complicated side, outline various completion dates for each stage of the project. This will make sure the project stays on track.)
- A protocol for handling any changes that may arise, whether due to new work orders, unforeseen issues, or cancellations
- Budget & Payment Schedule
- An estimate and the work/materials that estimate includes
- A clear-set schedule for payment (Ideally, you will pay a small portion of the overall price upfront, and then you will pay for the work as it is completed.)