If your property is suffering from damp problems, you should hire a damp proofing contractor that will protect your home and make it more comfortable for living. But, how to know if a certain damp proofing contractor can be trusted with the task of solving your damp problem? It takes the right experience and expertise to locate the exact problem you might have.
Today, there are many contractors that offer damp proofing services, so it takes more than taking their word for it in order to choose one. You need someone who will show up on time, provide quality service, deliver on time and budget, and realise your vision.
Here are a few red flags you need to watch out for when hiring a damp proofing contractor.
1.Can’t Provide a List of References
Unfortunately, not all contractors are honest and good at their job. For that reason, you need to do a little research before hiring them. Their words alone are not enough, so make sure you ask for a list of references from past projects.
If they refuse to give you the list for any reason, move forward and look for another contractor.
If they are willing to verify references, contact a few of them to find out about their experience. Ask them questions related to the project the contractor did for them, the communication between them, their expertise and ability to complete damp proofing services to a customer’s satisfaction.
Thanks to social media, you can easily find which contractors are bad, thus avoiding the mistake of hiring them. Seeing a review that slams them is a clear sign that you need to stay away from that contractor and look for another one.
While a bad review or two may be left from competitors and cranks, a pattern of red flags or problems should make you think twice.
3.A Non-Existent or Vague Contract
Do not make the mistake of hiring a contractor that fails to provide a written contract which meets your standards. The contract should include:
- A detailed description of the project – the equipment/materials used, the scope of the work, the staff working or supervising
- The start date and the estimated completion date
- A protocol for dealing with potential changes and problems that may occur during the project
- An estimate and the materials included
- A clear-set payment schedule
Sign the contract only if you are sure the contractor is qualified to fix your damp problem and understands your timeline and budget.
4.Requires Unreasonable Payment in Advance
Even though most contractors demand money in advance to buy materials or secure your place on their calendar, a contractor that asks for more than 15% of the total sum upfront is a red flag.
If this is the case with your potential contractor, they may be a fraud who will take your money and never appear to start or complete the project.
It’s also not safe to pay in cash without a credit card statement or check to back you. To prevent becoming a victim of contractor fraud, make sure you set a schedule for payment before the beginning of the project.
Professional contractors tend to ask for 1/3 of the total sum upfront, 1/3 halfway through the project, and 1/3 upon the project completion. Some companies may conduct a free damp survey first as well.
5.Surprisingly Low Price
If a contractor offers their damp proofing services for a price that’s too good to be true, they might lack a proper license and qualifications.
Even though the surprisingly low price may attract you to hire them right away, it’s best to check for reviews to see if they have the necessary experience and expertise.
A good price is important, but it’s not imperative when it comes to choosing a damp proofing contractor. If they don’t fix your damp problem properly, it can lead to more serious damage that can cost you more than the average price for a damp proofing service.
6.Not Able to Show Proof of Insurance
Even the most professional damp proofing contractor can make a mistake, so it’s crucial that they hold proper liability and staff’s compensation insurance that will provide financial protection for the project.
Reputation means a lot for reliable contractors, so they care to invest in it. So, if a contractor hesitates to present proof of their insurance and license, move on to the next potential contractor.
Take these six red flags into consideration when hiring your damp proofing contractor and you’ll have peace of mind when you do finally pick one.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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