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Avoid falling victim to a shady contractor

Hiring a contractor is taking a chance that someone is going to adhere to the contract you sign and do the job that you are hiring him or her to do. There is a chance that you will end up working with a contractor who isn't doing either of these. If you are in the market for a contractor, you should make sure that you are keeping these warning signs of a shady contractor at the front of your mind.

You should be wary of contractors who go door-to-door to solicit business or who tell you that your job will be used as a demonstration. A contractor only accepting cash payments, offering discounts for referrals or asking for full payment upfront are also signs that something isn't right. You should even be wary of a contractor who offers longer than normal guarantees and those who don't have a phone number listed in a directory.

It is a good idea to check the contractors claims regarding licensing, bonding and insurance. You might consider contacting your local building department to find out if the contractor you are considering is legally able to do business in your area.

One big red flag that you need to think about is if the contractor tells you to get your own permits. Contractors should be able to get their own permits. Not being willing or able to get one is a sign that something fishy is going on.

Make sure that you check out the contractor's reviews. While there isn't any reason to think that a new contractor will be shady, it is usually better to use an established contractor who has been in business for a while.

Source: All Florida Contractors, "Warning Signs of a Shady Contractor," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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