7 Tips to Choosing a Legitimate Contractor
Finding a good contractor – one that you can trust to keep your best interests in mind – is incredibly important no matter the home repair project. Choosing the wrong contractor may even end up costing you more than money in the end and even legal problems.
Consider the Following:
The greatest number of complaints received by law enforcement is against door-to-door contractors, especially those who come knocking right after a hailstorm or a severe weather incident. The most common complaints about contractors is nonperformance, including botched craftsmanship, excessive delays and exceeding the budget without approval.
So, how can homeowners and building owners work to choose a legitimate contractor? We have a few tips from the Denver District Attorney that may help:
- BEWARE of contractors who use high-pressure or scare tactics to get you to make an immediate decision.
- Tip 2: DON’T do business with someone who comes to your door offering a deal because they say they have materials left over from another job.
- Ask for and verify the contractor’s license number (you can confirm with your city or county’s building department where the home or building resides that the license number was issued by them and is current).
- Get at least 3 written bids. DON’T always choose the lowest bidder – almost all complaints to the DA’s office are contractors with very low bids.
- Require the contractor to use a written contract that lists materials to be used, as well as charges and costs, and the completion date.
- Pay little or nothing in advance. Pay by credit card, not cash and keep all receipts so you can dispute charges later. Pay no more than 10% of the job’s total cost until the work is complete, then pay the balance only when you are satisfied, and the job has been approved by a building inspector.
- Ask the contractor to show you proof that he is bonded, carries liability insurance, and covers his workers with workers compensation insurance.
For more information about how to protect yourself from roofing scams, check out the Colorado Roofing Association's guide on How to Spot Common Roofing Scams.
Information provided by:
Denver District Attorney
Fraud Hot Line 720-913-9179