Tricky Contractors

Don’t fall for these old tricks

 “I need to know today, if you are going to hire me. I’m only offering this price today”. Most reputable contractors offer quotes/estimates in writing, good for 30 days.

“I can give you a price for the whole job over the phone”. Well, the problem with “over the phone” is that a) you don’t have it in writing b) the contractor has no idea what your situation is or what the project looks like c) because of those two things alone, the price could change dramatically. Most contractors offer free estimates in person, and reputable contractors will come out to see what the situation is before giving any prices at all.

“We can just shake on the deal”. Well, shaking used to be the only way to close a deal. You can still close with a handshake AFTER you get it in writing. Protect yourself with a contract. -Don’t “wish ya did”.

“I will give you a discount if you pay in cash”. Why cash? Because the contractor will not have to report the income on his taxes. This is fraud. Also, if you ever need proof of the amount you paid him, a check or a credit card is always best.

“If you have time” or “since it’s your property, go ahead and pick up the permits needed for the job“. A contractor who will not pull permits, may not be ABLE to pull permits. Meaning, he is not licensed or his license has been revoked for some reason. If a permit is required for the job you have in mind, have the contractor obtain it and display it.

“My warranty will cost you “X” amount of dollars”. Most reputable contractors warranty their labor for at least a year at no charge, and the materials are normally under warranty by their manufacturer for a specified amount of time. Get warranties in writing.

Always listen to your gut. If it doesn’t feel like things are on the up & up, they probably aren’t.


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Alan M. Keffer | Broker | 409 Slate Street | Chesapeake, Virginia | 23322
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