When you do a search for a home improvement contractor in Chicago, you’ll be met with hundreds of options. Too many options might make selecting the right home improvement contractor a difficult process. Knowing what matters most when choosing a contractor can help you make the right decision, and avoiding the following 5 red flags will connect you to the right professional:
Red Flag #1: Can’t Provide a Proven Portfolio
A portfolio is a home improvement contractor’s track record of outstanding, quality work. While every contractor starts somewhere, you don’t want all your money on the table when there is no previous work to show for it.
What can you expect to find in a contractor’s portfolio? First, look for before and after photos. You’ll also want to take note of design and even clever details that add craftsmanship. This will give a true demonstration of his or her abilities, and won’t leave you second-guessing about your new hire.
Red Flag #2: They’re a No-Name Around Town
While your home improvement contractor doesn’t have to be Ty Pennington or Bob Vila, it helps to have some real-life credibility. If you’ve seen the name around town on yard signs or billboards, or you’ve even seen a presence on social media, you’re probably in the safe zone.
However, if you’re dealing with a mystery contractor with no identity other than a flimsy business card, you may want to do business elsewhere.
Red Flag #3: No Clear Message on Product Offerings
You already know what products your contractor offers, but what makes them unique? The home improvement contractor should have a product focus that offers solutions to homeowners, such as high quality products, energy-saving replacement windows, and more.
Red Flag #4: No Proof of Insurance
Working alongside a contractor without insurance is a major red flag. You may be held responsible for any injuries, or you can even be sued in extreme circumstances. Protect yourself and verify that the contractor is certified. You can get the name of the insurance company and call to verify for peace of mind.
Red Flag #5: Non-Existent or Fishy Referrals
Today’s technology makes it easy to leave reviews at the click of a button. If your Chicago home improvement contractor has no trace of reviews on Google, HomeAdvisor or social media, think twice before hiring. Written reviews are great, but video reviews are even better.
Hiring a Chicago Home Improvement Contractor? Trust Your Gut
While we can’t necessarily describe the feeling, you’ll likely know in your gut when something isn’t right. Working with a reliable company (with a proven track record) is the fastest route to the right hire. Do your research, go with your gut, and never settle for a contractor who you can’t trust.