Every industry has someone who wrecks it for the others. Basement finishing and renovation are no exception. Even if you utilize services like HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, Porch or Thumbtack, it does not guarantee that you will not become a victim. While the majority of these sites are authentic (as are the reviews), we advise homeowners to be wary of suspicious conduct. Here are five tips to recognize a possibly untrustworthy basement finisher.
Many contractors in the construction sector rely on verbal agreements or even utilize estimations as enforceable contracts, which are not the same thing. A contract’s objective is to safeguard both parties’ mutual interests if something goes wrong. If a basement contractor never offers a contract, we recommend that you inquire as to why. Why would you avoid a contract for a basement finishing project that is normally a substantial financial investment? Having a contract in place demonstrates professionalism and responsibility. Avoid basement firms that “don’t believe in that kind of thing.” However, Valor Home Services does believe in contracts. Before we start on your project, we will sit down with you and go over a contract that we both agree on. Once everything is approved and signed, we will get to work.
No Past Projects or Reviews
Whenever you are working with a basement contractor, you will want to see past project photos and reviews to see if your needs and wants match their quality of work. Typically, you can find past project photos on their website, social media or even Google. If you look at all their platforms and see no project photos, we recommend finding the next company.
Discovering reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Google or HomeAdvisor might be beneficial, but it can be difficult to establish whether the evaluations are genuine. This is where your social network may help you. Request suggestions on Facebook, from your neighbors or through NextDoor. It is beneficial to speak with folks who have personally dealt with these basement firms and can provide you with an unbiased review. At Valor Home Services, you can find our past project photos on all our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest) and read past client reviews on Google, social media and our website under Customer Reviews.
No Website or Social Media Presence
Anytime you finish your basement, you want to work with a company that has a website and social media presence. Why? Because most likely, others have used their services. Websites and social media may also give price breakdowns, contact information, reviews, project photos, offers and more. If the basement finisher you are interested in doesn’t have these two things, then they may not be as trustworthy as you think. Valor Home Services has a website and social media presence where you can see projects, offers, reviews, services, updates, news and more.
Not Licensed, Insured or Bonded
Work licenses, like building permits, are an absolute requirement when it comes to basement remodeling or, really, any task. Licenses show that the contractor has a lot of expertise and will know what to do if they run across problems. These licenses must be renewed regularly and often require the contractor to pass examinations and stay up to date on industry developments.
If your pro does not have enough liability insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation, you leave yourself up to a slew of complications. What if they harm your property or your neighbor’s property? What happens if one of their professionals gets hurt while working in your basement? What choices do you have if their work falls short? You may be held accountable in any of the aforementioned circumstances if you do not have enough insurance. Check your contractor’s insurance status twice to be safe. If you work with Valor Home Services, we have all three to give you (and our team) peace of mind during every project.
No Proper Communication
After all, it’s your basement makeover, and your ideas are paramount. However, because you are (most likely) not an experienced contractor, a competent professional should provide advice on how to pull off your dream basement and let you know when something is unlikely to work. If your contractor does not provide insight into the process or is not full of recommendations and guidance, this is a significant red flag. They should respect your viewpoint while also being confident enough to speak out about possible problems. One of our three promises at Valor Home Services is better communication. We want to be transparent and keep you in the loop from the moment you first contact us. Throughout the project, we send updates, on-my-way messages and more.
After reviewing these five signs of an untrustworthy basement finisher, you will have an easier time finding the right contractor for your project. Luckily, if you live in Belleville, O’Fallon, Edwardsville, St. Louis or the surrounding areas you do not have to look far because Valor Home Services is ready to help! For more information about your basement remodel or renovation, give us a call today.