Avoiding Bad Renovation ContractorsHome renovation, kitchens, bathrooms, landscaping, and just about anything that needs repair or updating around the home is one of the biggest industries these days. Lowes and Home Depot are making millions selling to homeowners and contractors alike. Many homeowners need more time, skill, or desire to do it themselves and decide to hire a contractor even though it will cost much more money. This website is dedicated to saving consumers money, and most do-it-yourself homeowners can save thousands if they do the work themselves. Avoiding a bad contractor can also save thousands, so this post is all about this.

Avoiding Bad Renovation Contractors – The List

Do your homework and hire professionals even if they cost a bit more money. Avoid the fly-by-nighters by following the following guidelines, and you should end up with a good contractor, although there are no guarantees.

  • Obtain detailed fixed price quotes
  • Always get references and call and visit those references
  • Check BBB for references and reviews
  • Look for online reviews
  • Educate yourself
  • Understand what and how the job will be done
  • Pay for materials yourself and arrange for delivery
  • Pay the contractor only for work performed
  • Include a 10% holdback to cover issues
  • If progress payments are required, tie them into performance milestones
  • Never pay in advance; find another contractor if this is an issue
  • On large jobs, penalty amounts are ok
  • Take pictures of the starting area, progress, and final product
  • Document any issues in writing with pictures or video
  • Identify issues immediately

If you feel uncomfortable about any of the issues, the contractor, or his work ethic, then it is time to move to another contractor before you commit and award the contract.

Large vendors of renovation materials like Lowes and Home Depot have many installers who work as contractors and come recommended by these stores. In fact, all of your financial dealings are usually with the supplier, i.e., Lowes, for the material and the installation. They guarantee the work and offer a level of protection that many small contractors cannot provide.

If you have additional comments or suggestions, please leave a comment, and we will add them to the list.