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6 Red Flags for Buffalo NY Remodeling Contractors You Should NOT Hire

buffalo ny home contractors

6 Red Flags for Buffalo NY Remodeling Contractors You Should Not Hire

It can be a little scary choosing Buffalo NY remodeling contractors to trust with your home remodel. While a bad contractor might be cheaper in the short-term, they may not finish the job and leave you with no recourse, or they may not take out a permit, which would be at huge risk to you. And the last thing you want is to be left with a nightmare remodel from a contractor with little experience!

When finding someone to do work for you on your home, it is important to find the right Buffalo NY remodeling contractors. There are some clear red flags you should try to spot when looking to hire Buffalo NY remodeling contractors. 

1. Pushy or aggressive about you not getting multiple bids

Any good contractor knows that most buyers shop around. Smart buyers will contact multiple Buffalo NY remodeling contractors to get quotes. Homeowners will also be able to assess what type of job they need as well as get a general sense of the cost of materials, supplies, etc.

Since this is the nature of the home contracting business, it is a red flag if you meet with a contractor who tells you to commit now, that you “should not” get other estimates, or they make unreasonable comments like, “This offer will only stand for the next hour.”

A good and experienced contractor will not feel threatened by customers getting other bids, because they should be able to stand out to you on their own merits. They should also want what so best for you as the client. If Buffalo NY remodeling contractors are not okay with that part of the process, this is likely a red flag that they will be unprofessional in other areas of the project or will not respect your boundaries.

2. Willing to drop their price considerably without also changing materials or process

Some homeowners believe that they can ask contractors to match another home contractor’s price. This actually may not be a good sign if they can!

If you are comparing quotes, and one home contractor’s bid comes in higher, this can be for many reasons. Different contractors have different processes and quality of work, and they may have different materials budgets in mind.

One home contracting company in Buffalo NY should not be able to lower their bid significantly to match someone else’s bid without changing their process or materials in some way.

Here Is How You Can Change or Lower Your Quote Safely

A contractor should give you their most accurate bid in their first estimate based on the pricing structure that allows them to fairly and profitably conduct business. HOWEVER, there are many things in a quote that can change. If you want the price to come down, ask what they can adjust in the contract.

If home contractors do come down in their offer on any home remodel project, it is important for you to ask why. If a contractor is willing to significantly drop their price without no change to the materials or amount of work done, that is not someone you should trust. 

Related: The Typical Cost of a Bathroom Remodel and The Average Cost of a Kitchen Renovation

buffalo ny home contractors quote

3. Only willing to take payments in cash

The variety of payment methods that home contractors in Buffalo NY have available should stand as an indication of the health of their businesses.

Some Buffalo NY remodeling contractors may tell you they do not take credit or debit cards and only accept cash. Alternatively, they may tell you that if you pay cash they will give you a significant discount.

Only Small Cash Discounts Make Sense

While it can make sense for some businesses to offer a modest discount if someone pays in cash (since they do pay a fee when processing credit/debit card transactions), if it is a considerable discount (like more than 5%), that could be a sign that they are trying to encourage you to pay them cash so there is no record that the transaction took place.

Keep a Paper Trail for Any Home Contractor Invoices

Regardless of how you pay, there must be a paper trail. There should be legitimate receipts, and you can request them to be itemized. If there is no evidence you paid, a contractor could put a lien on your property. For this reason, it is also a good idea to request a lien waiver when you pay your home contractor.

For more information on lien waivers, read: Property Owner’s Guide to Lien Waivers | All You Need to Know (levelset.com)

If home contractors tell you they will not take any payments other than cash, regardless of how their bid might be lower than others, be warned: you are taking a huge risk on someone who may not pan out.

Think Twice Before You Venmo

Also be wary of contractors who request only Venmo. While there are business Venmo accounts, some smaller and less established contractors try to use personal Venmo accounts to take payments to avoid paying fees. They are going “under the table.” Do you want a contractor who is less financially secure, unable to pay processing fees, and unwilling to be honest?

Good Signs

It is a good sign if your home contractors in Buffalo NY offer financing or payment plans and do not ask for the full amount up front. This means they have established business finances and systems and are less likely to “go under” or go out of business while working on your home remodel.

TBrothers Renovations in Buffalo NY is happy to offer clients financing and payment plans. Ask what you might qualify for when we meet together for your In-Home Estimate and Design Session.

buffalo ny home contractors red flags

4. Wants all money upfront

Buffalo NY remodeling contractors will likely want some money upfront. Many reputable businesses will require a deposit, and then they will likely collect money along the way, such as at specific phases. 

Some Buffalo NY remodeling contractors may collect the entire amount in thirds: at booking, at the halfway point, and at the completion of the job. Collecting money along the way ensures that the contractor is able to pay for materials and supplies. 

But it is VERY important that you never pay for an entire job upfront or work with a contractor who wants you to pay all money upfront. 

Your leverage to ensure that your Buffalo NY remodeling contractors finish the job comes from not paying the full amount UNTIL the work is completed and you have receipts and warranties.

5. No internet reviews or cannot provide reviews or references

Unless you know you are working with brand new Buffalo NY remodeling contractors, nearly every contractor should have internet reviews available on a whole plethora of sites such as Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Houzz, etc. If they do not have any, it would be important to ask them why (it could be they have changed their name, for example) and see if they have any reviews or references they could provide.

If a contractor cannot provide you with ANY reviews or references from customers on previous jobs and they tell you that they are not a new contractor, then they cannot be trusted.

Also consider whether you even want to work with a brand new contractor. What is their work history? Do they have the skills to do a high-quality job?

You should be able to research the reviews of any given contractor online, OR they could give you the names and numbers of previous customers to provide references or reviews/testimonials from previous customers.

6. They don’t do this full time, or are not legitimately formed as a home contractor business

Similar to #3, any legitimate and credible home remodel contractor will also be an actual business, meaning that they are formed, licensed, and insured. They may also be a member of the Better Business Bureau or other local boards and associations.

While plenty of good handymen may do work in their off-hours, if you are hiring Buffalo NY remodeling contractors to do a large or complicated renovation, it is not in your best interest to work with someone who does not do this full-time. Not only will that unnecessarily extend the length of your remodel, but you also may run into a lot of risky and expensive issues.

Find Buffalo NY Remodeling Contractors You Can Trust

These six red flags should be able to help you tell the difference between ones who are reputable and ones you should run from.

If you want Buffalo NY remodeling contractors you can trust, look no further than the home remodeling team here at TBrothers Renovations. Contact us today to get the kitchen, bathroom, or home renovation of your dreams.