Any remodeling in Provo, Sandy, or Salt Lake City has a lot of moving parts, but hiring a reliable contractor accomplishes half of the job.
A good contractor gives you a sense of direction right from the start. Partnering with one allows you to gain a working knowledge of the process, to plan the project more easily, and to anticipate potential pitfalls that may inflate your overall costs.
But it is dangerous to assume that all contractors are reputable. While trustworthy companies generally represent the construction industry, there are rogue remodelers that intentionally rip homeowners off.
Here are some of the ways to tell whether you are talking to an unreliable contractor in Utah:
Asking You to Pay More than $1,000 Up Front
A good remodeler may demand a down payment as earnest money. In some jurisdictions, the legal maximum a contractor can request is 10% of the project or $1,000, whichever is less. If the company you are dealing with wants more, move on to the next contractor.
There is an inherent risk that comes with paying too much money up front. A large down payment gives a contractor less incentive to finish the job on time or to do flawless work knowing that you already have too much skin in the game to switch to another building company. Even worse, your remodeler might disappear on you.
The only sensible purpose of any down payment requirement set by a remodeler is to prove that you are a serious customer. A reliable contractor should not need an advance payment to buy materials and rent construction equipment. If the company has good relationships with its suppliers, it should be able to source what it needs for the project on credit.
Arguing that a Permit Is Not Necessary for the Project
Building permits are necessary when an improvement is going to affect the safety and structural integrity of a property.
The authorities need to know about any modification you want to do to your house, and it needs to send an inspector to monitor the quality of work and to ensure that there is no non-compliance to the local building code.
A bad remodeler might talk you round to skip permit application, even when it is necessary. A contractor can try to skirt the rules in hopes of keeping an inspector out of the picture.
Saying That the Project Is Too Small to Merit a Contract
A contractor without a contract is merely a company that you pay to do construction work without legal responsibilities to do the job right. In case of dispute, you may not have a strong case to hold an unscrupulous remodeler accountable for subpar quality.
Reassuring that Everything Will Done as Promised Even When the Contract Says Otherwise
A contract exists to define the scope of the project. This written document is binding, and verbal agreements are not. Make sure that all agreed-on points make it to the contract, or else you will have little recourse to force the other party to honor all promises.
Exercise your due diligence to protect your best interests. Find out what does the Better Business Bureau has to say about the company, read reviews, verify its credentials, and check out its previous projects to size it up properly.