How to Prevent an Unhappy Contractor

Three Steps to Keeping a Positive Relationship with your Contractor

By Mark J. Donovan

With an improving home improvement industry and housing market you may find it harder to find and work with building contractors. Simply put they are busier than they’ve been in several years. Consequently it’s important to be patient with them and to avoid several key things that could ruin your relationship with your current contractor and other contractors you may want to hire down the road.

Agree to Giving References

First, if you current contractor has been doing an overall good job on your home improvement project and he/she asks you for a reference.

Do not decline his/her request. The contractor business is all about word-of-mouth and references. If your contractor has pretty much kept to the schedule and cost he/she said at the outset of the project, and has done a quality job, then be happy and agree to offer a reference if requested. This is extremely important if you think you’d like to hire him again someday.

Careful What You Say on Review Websites about Your Contractor

Consumers frequently use Yelp and Angie’s list to give reviews on contractor performance. Moreover, people have a tendency to be much more brutal when commenting on people and their work when criticizing online.

Think twice before you write a critical review of your contractor or only give a one or two stars rating. Contractors frequently look at these websites to see how their customers rate them.

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Similarly they also look at how potential customers have rated previous contractors. If you ever want to use your current contractor again, or want to be able to hire another one down the road, don’t be so critical on your reviews or stingy with your star ratings.

Pay Your Contractor for Work Completed

Do not get into the habit of not paying your contractors when work is completed. Withholding payment for small issues can end up backfiring on you down the road. The contractor can place a mechanics lien on your property which becomes public record. Prospective building contractors worth their salt will check public records to see if you have any liens on your home prior to signing onto your project.

If they find out you have a mechanics lien they’ll walk away from your project opportunity.

How to Prevent an Unhappy Contractor

Withholding payment should only be reserved for egregious quality workmanship issues or contractor jobsite theft. Withholding payment for personality issues or minor problems on the finished project may end up biting you down the road when you want to hire another contractor.

For more help on building a home addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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