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Recognizing Red Flags

Warning Signs Signaling Possible Contractor Scams

Have you ever heard about a contractor's who told the homeowner part way through a renovation project that he had some illness and was going into the hospital for surgery? The homeowner then sees him on the golf course looking nice and tan with no sign of illness.

Reputable contractors make it their first priority to be on time and within budget. Some contractors, however, have excuses for just about everything, all the while demanding more and more money before your project gets completed. They size you up and try to get away with as much as they can...and you'll be the victim.

But you don't have to be a victim of a contractor scam if you know the warning signs to watch for. Consider them bright, glaring red flags. Here's a 'top ten list' of no doubt, stop that payment and call the lawyer warnings for you to look out for:

  1. Asks you to get the required permits.
  2. They won't sign a contract, or they do sign one but never gives you a copy.
  3. Starts demanding more money beyond anything agreed to.
  4. Insists you write checks to him/her personally, a family member, or anyone instead of in the name of the business you contracted with.
  5. Offers up a barrage of excuses for needing more money or more time.
  6. Doesn't return your calls but does answer the phone if he doesn't know its you.
  7. Uses lesser materials than what you agreed to.
  8. Shows up less frequently and works fewer hours as the project progresses.
  9. Subcontractors or members of his work crew complain about not getting paid.
  10. Erratic behavior, mood swings, temper outburst, threatening language whenever you try to hold him/her accountable.
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