As a Minneapolis and St. Paul MN exterior home remodeling contractor, we are always hit with many questions regarding our reputation and experience. We don't mind - coming across a shady contractor is a real thing, and a lot of people are not protecting themselves when it comes to who they work with for the job that they want to have done. You do not want to waste time and money on someone that takes off without doing the job or just does a bad job at it because they are scam artists, or at least just not professional.
We provide quality workmanship, and we want to ensure that anyone looking for a contractor out there is able to find the best one for the job. This is why we are providing some information on how to spot that shady contractor that might give you poor work or just take your money and run. We do not want to come in and fix mistakes that someone else made, and we would rather that you had a great experience with the ones you're working with, instead of having a shady contractor give the rest of us a bad name.Here are questions that you can ask yourself to find out if the contractor that you're hiring is reputable. Just make sure to do the research that is needed on the contractors in your area to familiarize yourself with what is out there.
- If they come up to you looking for work, knocking on the door, asking what needs to be done - this is a major red flag that you should be aware of. Reputable contractors don't make door-to-door cold calls just because they are 'in the area.'
- Ask them something that you already know the answer to in order to find out if they know what they are talking about. If they give you a wrong answer, then you're going to want to find yourself a different contractor.
- Make sure ask for at least three references on the work that they do. If they refuse to provide these then they are not going to be able to do the work for you. They should have a solid work history that they are proud of and can show you.
- Ask them for their business card, and then later call the phone number on the card. Do you get a live response or a voice mail service that can't be traced? This can be a bad sign when it comes to working with them.
- Do plenty of research and then some. You want to know about who they are, what they do and what other people think about them. You can click here to verify license and status of any Minnesota residential building contractor (MN Dept. of Labor & Industry).
- Always obtain a written contract that clearly states everything the job involves, including details as to materials used. Do not sign something that has holes or is blank when it comes to the information that they are to cover. You want to have something that holds them to the job and gives you recourse if there's a problem.
- Always make sure that they are going to be able to pull permits and get the job done legally. Any reputable, professional contractor knows that they are supposed to pull these. Beware of contractors who tell you a permit isn't needed. You can contact your local building inspector and find out whether a permit is needed for your type of project or not.
- All contractors that know their job and are good at it will never want all of the cash up front. They will want a reasonable amount in advance in order to purchase materials, but the remainder of the price should be structured so that you won't pay for the project in full until it is complete.
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