5 Practices to Avoid When Hiring for Home Improvements

Hire Home Repair Experts

LOW BALLERS- Will not likely be experts in the field you need.

INHERENT RISK- Outcomes that may range from barely OK-to-disasters.

When you are in the process of updating your landscape or home repairs, you want to have value and expertise so you don’t have to pay twice. Right!? So, ask some questions and interview for the expertise, not the price. The lowballers may not have experience or knowledge and you’ll end up paying to fix their mistakes. Don’t be tantalized by the low price. Ask for references and pictures of their work. Don’t assume their work is the best for the price they quote. Erring on the side of caution will give you peace of mind and avoid long-term costly disasters.

Avoid Poor Quality Outcomes on Home Improvements

LOW BALLERS- Will probably not have the proper equipment to do the job right.

SERIOUS RISK- improper equipment for the landscape or home repair may cause safety issues. Can result in poor quality outcomes.

Ask how long the contractor has been in business.  Also, what equipment do they own or will they use for the home improvement?  Investigate and ask questions to the various jobs they do.  If they have an investment in the machinery, it is safe to say, they know what they are doing. References to the type of landscape or home repair you are requesting will help determine whether this contractor is in it for the long haul.  Ask about their warranty work and guarantees.

Be A Winner!

LOW BALLERS-May think for them to WIN you must Lose.

SUPER RISKS- Downgrade materials without notice, lower quality specs. Does not finish the project.

Discuss the quality of materials they will use and their sources. Make sure and understand what you are paying for and the quality of materials used on the home improvement project. Collect all warranty information with the installation whether it’s plants or drainage materials.  Be on site when the job is being performed. Be observant. Ask questions to moderate the agreement. Buying a good reputation with an expert far outweighs the headaches you’ll encounter down the road.

Insurance Required On All Jobs

LOW BALLERS- Will probably not have required minimum insurance policies.

POTENTIAL RISK- Persons and workers if injured onsite will seek remedy from the owner. Personal losses from liability may not have coverage.

We don’t want any broken backs and a law suit pending because your contractor didn’t carry the necessary minimum insurance required. Ask for the contractor’s carrier to send you a copy of the insurance policy to keep on file. This way, if it lapses during the installation, you will be immediately notified from the carrier. This insures your financial liability is not compromised. It’s true. If a contractor fails to carry liability insurance, and a laborer gets injured, the laborer can come back on you!

Resources & Responsibilities

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Interview the expert and hire them to do the job, not a low-baller that will put you at risk!

LOW BALLERS- Will likely not have enough resources to start and complete your home improvement project.

SEVERE RISKS- The project will not be finished as agreed between parties.

BIGGEST RISK- Material bill(s) may not be paid in full. Laborers, subs and workman are not paid in full. A mechanics lien may be filed on the property where the materials are in use and the work performed.

Resources is a must when working on any job. Check with the state licensing board to ensure you have a reliable, licensed contractor. To get and maintain that license, certain criteria have to be met. This standard is to ensure the general public of the requirements to hold the license. Part of the license is to ensure financial responsibility to the homeowner. Get references. Word of mouth is a safe place to get the ‘before and after’ picture of how your project will turn out.  When paying the final invoice, ask for a lien waiver before signing the check. This will ensure you of no surprises later and paying double for mishandled funds.

Certainly, nobody wants to ever overpay for any home repair or landscape projects. Choosing wisely with the certainty of value is critical when selecting a contractor.  Please make sure you are not hiring or dealing with a ridiculous LOW BALLERS. It’s not worth the RISK.

Willie Valdez

California State Licensed Contractor