How To Deal With A Bad Contractor
May 10, 2019 08:47 PM EDT
Renovating your home or improving some other piece of your property is an essential part of long-term wealth creation, and few homeowners are ever satisfied with their personal ability to pick up the hammer and tackle particularly complex challenges. As a result, millions of contractors are required each year to work on the impressive projects that homeowners around the country are pushing to make a reality.
As many of these homeowners have discovered, not all contractors are created equal, and some perform better than others. If you're someone struggling with shoddy service, here are some tips to rely on for dealing with a bad contractor.
Know how to hire in the first place
The best way to avoid having to deal with a bad contractor at all is learning how to properly vet them from the get-go so that your hiring process produces only the best candidates for the job. Most people think that hiring a good contractor is as simple as checking out their website, poring over online reviews, or relying on the trusted advice of a friend or family member who recommended them. In reality, though, you need to run a thorough background check on contractors to ensure that they're up to snuff when it comes to the project, and safe and friendly when it comes to welcoming them into your home in the first place.
It can be a chilling thought to grapple with, but not all contractors have honest intentions and some con men are posing as legitimate workers in an effort to get into your home. Most contractors are honest, hardworking individuals, but a few bad apples will try anything to get into your home. Every concerned homeowner should set some time aside to review doing a proper background check on a general contractor before welcoming them into the privacy of your house.
Now that you know how to properly hire contractors, you're substantially less likely to ever need to fire one of them at all. Still, some contractors work in fits and starts, producing better quality work on some days than others. Not all contractors should be fired just because they made a mistake, however; oftentimes, firing a contractor because of one small issue will just lead you to hire another contractor who generates even more, worse issues to deal with. Sometimes, you need to know when to give your contractor a second chance.
If your contractor is struggling with communication, take steps to establish clearer means of talking to one another before you fire them. Similarly, being slightly tardy is entirely different than running very late or not showing up at all, so understand that accidents happen, and traffic occurs. It's important that you don't let a bad contractor walk all over you, though, so knowing what warning signs to be aware of is the next step to ensuring you don't get ripped off.
Getting rid of a bad contractor
Before you get rid of a bad contactor, you want to ensure that they're the only negative aspect of the team you've hired and that others don't need to be fired, too. You should take some time to review a list of common red flags that lead most people to fire contractors immediately, as some things are more forgivable than others. Doing drugs on the job or stealing your property can't be forgiven, for example, but slight tardiness or a mild running over of a deadline are forgivable errors that every homeowner will inevitably be forced to deal with.
You also need to know that firing a home contractor is much more complicated than it sounds. You can't simply point to the door and tell them to hit the road - you may need a documentable reason to fire them, especially if you've signed a contract. Firing a home contractor will require the hiring of construction attorneys which must be done carefully because the cost of rushing the removal of a lackluster contractor could prove to be steeper than the costs of just enduring their presence until your project is over. Furthermore, contractors frequently network and speak with one another, so you don't want to tarnish your reputation in the eyes of the other workers you may soon find yourself reliant on.
Know that contractors make simple mistakes sometimes, and that not all of them should be dismissed because of a mild delay in construction or a fierce negotiating process. It's important that you don't allow bad contractors to walk all over you, however, and that you understand the common signs that the contractor you've hired is letting you down. Take extensive steps to audit them from the get-go and run a thorough background check on contractors, and be clear and constant in your communications with them, and you'll soon be dealing with fewer bad contractors.