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Home Expert Awards: Professional Red Flags

Hiring a professional to do work in your home takes a great deal of trust, and many homeowners have concerns about being scammed or taken advantage of, or even just getting poor workmanship. When you aren’t an insider, it’s hard to know how to tell if a home industry professional is going to be unprofessional. That’s why we turned to our home expert network–to help us identify some red flag behaviors that homeowners can use to protect themselves from untrustworthy workers. Below are just a few of the red flags identified by our experts!

What are red flags for a home improvement professional?

How can a homeowner spot an unprofessional business during the initial conversation?

What are your red flags when evaluating potential employees?

How about for potential business partners?

Most Inspiring

For the first one, I know that not everyone has joined in willingly in the electronic age, and not every business owner has a website. And this certainly doesn’t mean they are no good. But do everything you can to find information on the contractor before you hire them. And if you can’t find anything online, ask for a list of references. Otherwise you are taking a big risk of you can’t find a track record of good work. read more

As Kris points out, the digital era has made it easier than ever to check up on past work a contractor has done, and to find reports on them from previous customers. Hiring a contractor blind is just silly, given how much information is available. Get googling!

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

...there is one question that I hear more often than any other; how much is it? I have probably heard that question a million times. Yet, I can count on my hand the number of times people asked to see a copy of my license or insurance. Even fewer customers ask for references, call my suppliers, or stop by the shop. Yet, every customer seems to have a horror story of the time they received bad service. Why? Because the customer paid too much attention to the price and not enough attention to the product. This is an easy thing to do with service work because the product is not something you can hold in your hand or easy compare. read more

We liked Josh's comment because it identifies a mistake homeowners make when hiring that could save them a lot of heartache in the long run. It's easy to focus in on cost when you hire a professional, but trustworthiness and certification are far more important. Resist the urge to compare prices, and compare policies instead.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Informative

Another big issue I know to be of value, is if the [job candidate] has continued education. Plumbing is chock full of emerging technologies that require skills beyond just learning on the customers nickel. The certifications are normally from trade associations. Such participation is signature of excellence, and or proof of skills. read more

Noticing red flags in coworkers or potential employees is another important issue. Greg points out one of the easiest ways to tell if somebody takes their work seriously--whether or not they've kept their education up to date with the industry. Technology is advancing all the time, and a worker who doesn't pay attention to the ways the industry is changing can't do the kind of quality work that's necessary.

eLocal Expert Network

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