5 Warning Signs Of A Bad Contractor

June 7, 2021
5 Warning Signs Of A Bad Contractor

What are the warning signs of a bad contractor?

  1. Constantly making excuses
  2. No proof of credentials or licenses
  3. Avoids written agreements
  4. They have poor reviews
  5. Dubiously low rates

Especially when you don’t have any prior experience with hiring contractors and contacting construction companies, finding the right team for your project can be challenging. There’s tons of professionals to choose from — it’s essential that you pick the right one so your project and resources don’t go to waste. You also have to know the warning signs of a bad contractor so that you’ll steer clear of the rotten apples that have somehow found their way into this business.

You may not always have the best intuition when hiring professionals — some of them are just too skilled at deception, that you don’t know you’ve hired the wrong one until work has begun. Fortunately, there are a few tell-tale red flags in the beginning that tell you they’re the wrong person for the job. Check out this guide to learn more.

Constantly Making Excuses

Any professional and legitimate contractor understands the need to take accountability and responsibility for their actions. This is because you and the contractor have an unspoken agreement that they will be responsible for many aspects that concern the project. Sure, you may provide your own input from time to time, but when it comes to the overall management, this responsibility falls on your contractor.

So when you find yourself with a contractor that consistently makes excuses or fails to take ownership of issues that may arise throughout the development, then something is already amiss. These contractors will usually say things like “There’s nothing I can do about it”, “This isn’t my fault.” or “I didn’t know we needed this type of documentation”. As early as you hear these words or say something in the same vein, then it’s time for you to make difficult decisions.

No Proof Of Credentials Or Licenses
No proof of credentials or licenses

When shopping around for a contractor, always remember that they have to be able to show you a legal and documented proof or license that they are fit to carry out construction work. In the Philippines, this is called a PCAB (Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board) license, essentially designating that the contractor has been accredited by the contractors board to conduct work in different projects.

Always make sure that the contractor can provide this piece of document before you even hire them. Don’t sign any written agreement or conduct any financial transaction with them if they haven’t yet presented their credentials. When they can’t seem to produce this, or try to avoid questions about their legitimacy as a professional contractor, then it’s best that you continue your search.

Avoids Written Agreements

Contractors are called as such, essentially because they enter into a “contract” or agreement with the client that they will perform the job, while satisfying the demands of the contract. If in the beginning your contractor seems to steer clear of any motions to draft a contract or enter into a formal deal with you, then don’t hire them.

Construction contracts or written agreements may vary, depending on the type (i.e.: lump sum, cost price, unit, time and materials, and the like). Nevertheless, these documents are legally-binding. If either party (you or the contractor) breaches any clause or stipulations in the contract, then legal actions could be faced.

This is why the contract is a must-have for any kind of construction work— be it commercial, public, or private. Don’t undertake a project without making arrangements with your chosen contractor to come up with this document.

They Have Poor Reviews
They have poor reviews

Just as you would shop around and read reviews of different suppliers when buying construction materials, you also have to do the same when it comes to your contractor. Nothing is as telling as their experiences with previous clients. Simply put, if the clients have very few positive things to say about the contractor, then you have to look for another one.

Needless to say, you don’t just want to choose a contractor because they offer lower rates. This could hurt your project in the long run, because they may not really perform up to standard. Instead, take the time to research about the company and find out how their older clients have to say about the contractor. If possible, you may also want to get in touch with these clients so that you’ll have a more in-depth understanding of the contractor’s work ethics, professionalism, expertise, and the like.

Dubiously Low Rates

As discussed, don’t just hire a contractor because they’re the first one to offer you a cheap quote on their services. More likely than not, this means that they can’t really provide you with quality work that meets construction standards. There’s also a good chance that they’re operating around legal loopholes that you certainly don’t want to be a part of.

As much as possible, you don’t want to sacrifice quality with affordability. This isn’t to say that you have to choose an expensive contractor — what you should do is choose a company that offers cost-competitive prices as their rivals. Choose the contractor that you know will give you both short-term and long-term benefits for your project. Think about it — a bad contractor may be cheaper in the short run, but you’ll ultimately have to spend more when you’re left solving costly project problems in their wake.

Key Takeaway

Contractors are the backbone of any good construction work. Even a single individual can determine the success or failure of your project, which is why you need to exercise meticulousness and care when hiring one.

We’ve covered in this guide a list of a few warning signs of a bad contractor that you have to keep a lookout for. These people will usually avoid any discussion about their license, refuse to enter into a legal agreement with you, or promise ludicrously low rates that are too good to be true.

Make sure that you hire your contractors only from legitimate firms like Cross-Link Electric & Construction Corporation. All of our contractors are fully-licensed and fit to conduct different kinds of construction jobs. Click here to contact us now! Hire only the best contractors for your next project.