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How to Avoid a Bad Contractor

Nothing threatens the success of your home construction or renovation project more than a bad general contractor. A good contractor establishes and oversees the building schedule, works directly with subcontractors, orders materials, and manages equipment–so finding the right professional for your project is a vital part of the home building process. Want to avoid an irresponsible or negligent contractor? Here’s some warning signs:

  1. Presents a bid with a deposit that is either exorbitantly high or suspiciously low. Average deposit payments for a home range between 15-30%, so be wary of anyone who asks for excessive funds up front. More concerning? An untrustworthy contractor requires large sums of money before the project even begins and requests additional funding regardless of the status of your project. Only work with a contractor willing to schedule payments based on measurable progress, like laying foundation or excavating the basement.

Considering a lowball offer? Don’t. If the bid seems too good to be true, it’s highly likely the contractor uses subpar materials, or keeps costs low by skirting insurance requirements. Your ideal match will request a reasonable deposit and provide a schedule for when and why additional funds are required.

  1. Avoids leaving a paper trail. Whether dishonest or just disorganized, an ineffective contractor avoids making and sending clients a detailed schedule, regularly tries to amend or change their cost estimate verbally, and doesn’t provide proof of purchase when it comes to buying materials or renting equipment. Your new home is an investment, so your contractor should make it easy for you to monitor how your money is contributing to your dream home.
  1. Changes subcontractors regularly. The most effective project managers and contractors assemble a team of professional subcontractors who work well together. Talk to subcontractors in your area and ask them to share their experiences working with a potential general contractor. If a contractor’s team suffers from regular turnover mid-project, or is in constant need of replacements, steer clear– their inability to create and work with a team will only delay your project and cost you extra time and money.

While finding the right general contractor can take time, the experts at Home Planning Hawaii believe finding a skilled, honest, and affordable professional shouldn’t cause undue stress. We’re experts at finding the best contractors in your area, and can help you create the budget and timeline you need to ensure your project gets off to a great start. Want to learn more? Contact us today!

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