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Tips on Avoiding Scam Contractors.. Skip "Chuck in a Truck"

When you’re ready to pull the trigger on that big home remodel project and you’ve scrimped and saved to make sure you really get to do it the way you want, don’t get disappointed by “Chuck in a Truck”! Do your homework, and hire the right company to have the project done right the first time! “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin.

So how do you spot a “Chuck in a Truck”? Watch for these warning signs!

  • He shows up late for a scheduled appointment! A good contractor shows respect for your time and will do his best not to waste it. If he’s going to be late, he calls ahead to let you know.

  • He has no liability insurance! General Liability Insurance helps cover the costs of liability claims due to property damage, personal injury, errors in service, etc. Hiring a contractor without liability insurance is risky. Ask for a Certificate of Insurance with yourself listed as the certificate holder. It shouldn’t take more than a day or two for your contract to provide this to you.

  • He asks for a substantial down payment before any work is completed! Some jobs are materials heavy and do require a

larger down payment such as purchasing new kitchen cabinetry or a Trex Deck, but the down payment should be very transparent as to what it’s covering. Ask your contractor what it’s being used for. A generic 50% down payment may be a red flag. Look for a payment schedule with progress benchmarks that allow for smaller payments during construction to make sure you are comfortable, and that the contractor can move the job forward without either side feeling squeezed.

  • He tries to convince you to work without a permit! There are two reasons a “Chuck in a Truck” will do this. 1) He doesn’t actually have a business license, bond, or insurance and cannot register as a contractor in your city. 2) He’s going to do the job as cheaply as possible and it may not be up to code or pass inspections. Ask your contractor if he is registered with your city. He should be able to provide a copy of his registration. If you’re really not sure if you need a permit, call the building department and speak to an inspector. They are happy to discuss the needs of your project with you.

  • He doesn’t give you a construction schedule! With any project, there are bound to be hiccups that can cause a deviation from the schedule, but you should at least be given some sort of outline as to how the project will progress and probable timelines.

  • There’s little or no detail on his contract! When reading over your contract, there should be no grey area as to what is covered and what is not. You should be able to clearly determine what is included in the price you are being given. This is also a good time to look for a warranty. There should be a written warranty in your contract.

  • There’s no history of this company! You should be able to find the company that you’re hiring in a Google search with ease. If you can’t find the company now, where are you going to find them if something goes wrong with your project down the road and you need them to come back?

  • The company has no website! In this day and age, there’s really no reason that a company shouldn’t have an online presence! It isn’t cheap to maintain a well put together website, but at the very least, you should be able to find the company on one of the free platforms that are available to them. If you can’t find a website, you’ve found a red flag.

  • He has no references or photos of past work! If the company has a website, they’re bound to have pictures! Right?!? If you don’t see photos of past work, ask for them. Ask for references. It could save huge headaches in the future!

Check out our site to see some of our previous work, then set up your free estimate! - or just phone 630-200-3945 to schedule!

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