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Red Flags - What to look for in a good contractor | Project38LB

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

Upon entering someone else’s home, a range of thoughts go through people’s minds. I think the first is, “It smells different, I shouldn’t stay too long.” The second, and more importantly is the overall appearance of the place. When people walk into your home you want them to think “wow this person has good taste…and probably buys organic produce.”

To get that look, a number of things need to be done right, and the first is finding a good contractor. If this is one of your first projects, you will be going off mostly online research or a referral from a friend. The more projects you work on, the more go-to contractors you will have that are reliable.

Starting off though, you will need to find out if the contractor has their priorities straight, and will dedicate enough time to your project. In the end, your project is just one of several other projects that he/she is working on. So here are a few red flags that may indicate that they are less than reliable.


On the first meeting, is it difficult to get straight answers to simple questions? If your questions are met with “we might finish by so and so” or “It depends if Johnny Boy gets his license” or “Im not sure if I'll be available”it's time to look elsewhere.


Photogenic memory my butt! If you're explaining specific measurements that your project needs to meet and the contractor is nodding his head in agreement without taking a single note, it's time to move on.


HOLY MOLY, this should probably be number one. Always ask if they know if a permit is needed to do a certain job, their answer should demonstrate their true experience and confidence. A good contractor will be able to explain why a project requires or does not require a permit. They should also be able to look up local code on their phone or laptop and refer to it. Anything other than that, you are risking job safety/quality and the possibility of your project being shut down by building officials.

More information can be found at the Associated General Contractors of America, ACG, publication

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