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Here in Michigan, we’re home to a great population of highly qualified, competent, honest home remodeling contractors. But there are always some who aren’t so trustworthy, and as a homeowner it can be difficult to determine which contractor to hire for your next big project.

Fortunately, we can help. Consider the following list of CONTRACTOR BIG RED FLAGS and avoid any providers who don’t line up.

They don’t have a builders license.

Michigan general contractors need a Residential Builders license or a Maintenance & Alterations Contractors license to “construct, repair, alter, add to, subtract from, or improve a residential structure or a combined residential and commercial structure”.

They can’t provide proof of insurance.

Good builders should be able to produce a copy of their general liability insurance, a policy that protects them (and by extension anyone harmed) in the event of an accident.

They can’t provide references.

Good builders don’t just build houses, they build relationships and clientele. That means that qualified builders can usually put you in touch with other customers who have had a good, drama-free experience.

They aren’t established.

Everyone has to start somewhere, but when contractors have been in business a suspiciously short amount of time or don’t have an established address or office it can be a big red flag.

Their quote isn’t in depth.

The quote the contractor provides should detail the full scope of the job and outline the work they and any subcontractors will do as well as what materials they will provide and the homeowner will provide. There should be no gray area or confusion.

They request payment up front, or in cash.

Typically, contractor work is paid out in increments to ensure that both parties remain committed to the project until it’s completed. Asking for full payment up front or payment in cash (without a paper trail) is a bad sign.

They have a lot going on.

It’s fine for contractors to be busy, especially here in such a hot housing market, but they should have time to focus on your project during its term, rather than jumping from job to job.

They can’t provide start and end dates, or they want to start too soon.

It takes time to plan out and properly permit a remodeling project. If a contractor proposes getting to work right away, it may mean they aren’t operating entirely on the level. The project should include reasonable start and ending dates, so you have a date in writing to stick to.

Trust your Local Godwin Store!

Did you know that Godwin now offers design and installation services for kitchen and bathroom remodels? Schedule an appointment and explore your custom West Michigan home remodeling design options today!