5 Signs You’re about to Hire a Shady Contractor

You’ve got big plans for your facility… expansions, upgrades, renovations, all the good stuff. Your vision is ready for flight, and now it’s time to vet your contractor list and choose a partner to bring those concepts to fruition. Before you start signing checks, consider these telltale signs that you might not be getting what you’re paying for.

1. Pricing
You’ve done your due diligence and shopped around for quotes on an entryway remodel for your facility to find one bid substantially lower than the rest of the field. While it may be enticing to entertain an offer promising to save you big bucks on your project, the cost savings have to come from somewhere and it’s likely to be at your expense. Low-quality materials, incorrect estimating, or simply the intention of not seeing the job to completion are all serious repercussions that could result in choosing that “great deal” of a bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Payment Up-Front
Deposits are a way contractors can help cover some of the initial material costs associated with beginning a new project. If a general contractor is requesting a deposit of more than 20-25% there’s a good chance you won’t be jumping at the chance to award them 5 stars on Yelp when the project is complete. Poor financial stability, haphazard cost estimating or insufficient motivation to complete the project on time could be underlying reasons for asking for large amounts of capital before the shovel hits the dirt.

Certain projects that make use of special materials may legitimately require a larger up-front deposit, but you will understand exactly why and how your investment will be spent long before the financial transaction occurs. Common sense and transparency are your allies here. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.

3. Licensing & Insurance
Licenses, insurance, and bonds are vital to a smooth construction timeline, and if the contractor you’re looking to hire is lacking in any of these departments, it’s best to cut ties. Not only could hiring an unqualified contractor cost you big in legal ramifications, it also paints a sharp, unflattering picture of how the hired firm handles important prerequisites. Just like you can’t build a house with no foundation, a contractor without the proper licensing or insurance is simply unworkable.

4. Equipment & Employee Presentation
This one is simple. If you attended the grand opening for a new restaurant in town and upon walking in noticed unkempt employees, sticky tables and a smell that is reminiscent of the juice at the bottom of your trash bin, you’d likely head for the nearest exit, right? Good contractors know that first impressions are important, and the amount of effort someone puts into their initial presentation is a good indicator of how much effort they’ll put into their work.

It’s obviously not feasible to keep construction equipment in showroom condition, but there is a clear difference between used, and neglected. Is the proper tool being used for the job at hand? Are all the safety provisions intact? A quick visual assessment of a contractor’s equipment can save time and money in the long run.

5. Demonstrative Project Portfolio
A prosperous contractor will have some sort of project portfolio showcasing completed work and maybe even some client-awarded testimonials to back them up. There’s no replacement for experience, especially in the construction industry, so make sure to spend some time learning what your potential builder has done for other clients in order to gain an understanding of the level of quality you can expect.

So how do you make sure you hire the right General Contractor for your facilities’ next big project?

While there is no perfect solution to vetting a builder, following the advice in this article is a good start. Look for a firm with a solid presentation, history of well perceived completed jobs, a proactive stance on safety and an experienced staff that knows how to mitt a curveball or two. OMNI Building Services just so happens to hit all of these marks…. but we’re sure you already knew that since now you’re a pro on choosing the right contracting partner.