The first-time homeowners meet with the contractors, there is a big chance that they think of them as a competent and civilized contractor. That is why they hired them in the first place. But there are times that people seem like a doctor Jekyll at first, and then began to act more like Mister Hyde in the long run. 

It is best to spot the Mister Hyde-like behavior before they are hired. It is hard to get out of the deal when the homeowner already paid them for the job that most likely will be sub-standard or incomplete; gotten too far down the line with these contractors to make it too difficult to get out; or driven yourself with frustration and rage. 

Bad contractors can do anything from pocketing homeowner’s money and purchase sub-standard materials to using alcohol and drugs while on the job, endangering not only themselves, but also people around them and, most importantly, their families. How can homeowners know when it is time to replace them with a much better model?

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Contractors asking for too much money as a down payment

The first and the most apparent reason, contractors should not ask for a significant amount of money as an upfront payment. Yes, they need the cash to get the renovation started, but asking for a ridiculous amount of money (more than 15% of the total cost) raises a red flag. 

Most states in the United States allow contractors to ask their clients for a maximum of 33% of the total construction cost as an upfront payment or down payment. Contractors need to have enough credit to pay for the rest of the down payment. If they do not have enough credit, it might be because they messed up their previous project and their credit revoked by the bank. 

That is not the right contractor for the job. After the down payment costs, an additional budget needs to be tied to significant milestones like the end of foundation and excavation work, plumbing, framing, roofing, sliding, electricity, and finish work. Similarly, contractors who try to tie money on dates instead of construction milestones are going to bad news. Low biddings should also raise red flags. 

Be aware of the common scams in which builders assure the client that their house will be used as a sample unit for advertising purposes, and that is why they can bid lower compared to their competition. As a matter of fact, it is never worth it to lowball bids for the payoff of portfolio pieces. Instead, lowballing bids will always equal to poor quality of work. It is as simple as that.

Keeps Strange Hours

What does the site look like at 9 in the morning on a Monday or two in the afternoon on a Friday? If the answer is a quiet job site, the homeowner needs to reevaluate the builder that they are hiring. Let us put it this way; these builders set their own hours, and the hours not only determine the time the project will be completed, but also reflects their overall professionalism and their commitment to your project. 

A 40-hour workweek and shave on both ends, does not imply professionalism. With that being said, when homeowners notice that their builders are absent, it is the client’s task to ask why they are absent instead of just being silent until they cannot stand it anymore. 

There might be a perfectly legitimate reason builder didn’t show up at the job site on Fridays until noon. Are they buying the materials needs for the project? Is it a standard for the to take Friday mornings to tie up permits and paperwork? What looks like relaxing or slacking to the client may, in fact, be relevant to the job that they are doing. That is why the employer-employee relationship must have open communication if they want it to be successful.

To know more about this topic, you can do your due diligence and try researching more through the Internet by using keywords like “Ottawa contractors” or “best construction firm near me.”

Drug and alcohol use on the job

What the builders do after their shift is their business. What they do on the job site is your business. You cannot tolerate alcohol, illegal drugs, or unreasonable prescription medication on the site. Whether they get their drug of choice from a street dealer, from the bottle or a registered physician, if it impairs their ability to do what they are supposed to do, safely and well, it might be the perfect time to look for a new contractor that can do the job for you. 

The same goes for their employees. If there is substance abuse on the job site, it is the contractor’s responsibility to discipline them. Most, if not all, contracting companies have a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and drug use when on the job. If you hired a builder through these contracting companies, there is a big chance that you can replace the builder without altering the contract too much.