The nightmare of an unfinished job or a project that runs way over budget is all too common to homeowners. If you hire a contractor to do some work on your home, pay attention to these three big no-nos. Avoid doing any of these things, and although small things may still go wrong, you’ll at least have spared yourself a major headache—and possibly saved thousands of dollars too.
1. Paying early.
View with skepticism requests for early payment. A professional contractor should have the know-how to accurately estimate the cost of materials and sub-contracting expenses ahead of time. If they run out of money too soon and want you to cover the cost, it points to disorganized management at best and shady dealings at worst. Adhere to the payment schedule in the original contract no matter what.
2. Paying weekly.
Don’t let your contractor sweet-talk you into weekly payments. If he or she is organized and on top of their own finances, they should be able to afford to purchase any needed materials up front. Although not all contractors are this unscrupulous, those who want to rip you off are more likely to go through with it if they only lose a week’s pay instead of a month’s pay. Stick to monthly payments, or agree to payments when certain parts of the job are completed. That way you can be sure of getting your money’s worth.
3. Paying in cash.
Never agree to pay a contractor in cash, no matter what good reason they come up with for your benefit. Contractors who collect their fees cash may be involved in tax evasion, which means you’re paying them extra and they’re cheating the system. In this day and age there’s no reason for a professional not to have a bank account, so if your contractor claims he or she can only accept cash, find someone else to do the job.
Avoiding these three no-nos will go a long way towards guaranteeing you peace of mind during your project. Hiring a contractor may be an unfamiliar step for you, but it doesn’t have to be a pain. Stick to the payment schedule, pay monthly, and pay by check or credit card. Your contractor will be easier to work with, and your project is more likely to turn out well.