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look up the vendor on vendor review sites such as Angie’s List or Yelp, and to contact the Better Business Bureau and your state licensing bureau to see if there are complaints against a prospective contractor.


In addition, the following warning signs can alert you to unscrupulous, disorganized, inexperienced or financially troubled contractors who may deliver broken promises, bad work and blown budgets rather than professional results.


In any business, first impressions are important. How a contractor presents himself and maintains his truck, tools and equipment are good indicators of how well he’ll take care of you and your job. He should look neat and professional, and his vehicles and equipment should be clean and in good repair.


First Impressions:


Price is always an important consideration when selecting a contractor, but don’t let a low price or a special deal blind you to a potential problem—both can be signs that you should be wary. A bid far lower than others may indicate the contractor isn’t experienced enough to know the actual cost of the job or he never intends to finish the work. Disreputable contractors may bid low to secure a contract and then tack on extra charges as the job progresses.


Beware Low Bids:


are pressured during the bidding process by tactics such as “limited-time offers,” look for a different contractor. Hiring a contractor is not a split-second decision; for this reason, many states give homeowners three days to cancel a home improvement contract — without obligation — after signing it. A prospective contractor should take his time as well, carefully reviewing the specifications of your job before submitting his bid. If he doesn’t take notes and measurements and make material and labor calculations, or if he simply names a price based on a similar job, he may not be detail-oriented or thorough enough to do a good job.


Take Your Time:


offer you a discount, hoping to earn your future business following a job well done, but be wary if a contractor offers materials at a discounted rate. Small contractors rarely buy materials in the high volumes necessary to yield big discounts, and unless they severely overestimated quantities for a previous job, they rarely stock large inventories of material. Discounted materials are usually seconds, ungraded or below-grade minimums for code, any of which would compromise the quality of your project.


Beware Materials Discount:


A prospective contractor may


If you


your community will run smoothly.


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Tom Engblom CMCA AMS PCAM VP/Regional Account Executive 312-209-2623 Toll Free: 866-800-4656, ext. 7498 tom.engblom@mutualofomahabank.com


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