BBB Offers 8 Tips for Hiring Trustworthy Contractors

  
     
February 15, 2017

A contractor and client shake handsSt. Louis, Mo., Feb. 22, 2017 – If the midwinter blues have you dreaming of ways to spruce up the inside of your home this year, Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help you find a trustworthy contractor to do the work. We’ve also developed tips to help you understand what to ask before you sign a contract or pay any money.

First of all, BBB offers BBB Business Profiles of thousands of contractors that show how long a contractor has been in business and how many complaints – if any - have been filed against the company and how the company has responded. The review includes a rating from A+ to F, with F being the lowest rating BBB gives to any company. Some profiles also have customer reviews that rate their experience as positive, negative or neutral.

“BBB Business Profiles are a great resource for consumers,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. “BBB Business Profiles include contact information and detailed information on how companies resolve complaints. We’ve also added customer reviews, which can give you a sense of how a contractor pleases customers.”

BBB’s Request A Quote service allows consumers to obtain an estimate from one or more BBB Accredited Businesses. These businesses have pledged to comply with BBB Standards, such as advertising honestly, honoring promises and responding to customers’ complaints. Simply click on the Request A Quote tab in the BBB Business Profiles and fill out the form with your contact information and a description of the service you need.

BBB also helps consumers resolve hundreds of complaints against contractors every year. If you need BBB assistance, go to bbb.org or call 314-645-3300.

BBB’s eight tips to consider when hiring contractors are:

  1. Ask at least three companies for bids based on the same requirements. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and ask them about variations in pricing. The lowest-priced bid may not be the best.
  2. Ask about the company’s insurance. Does it carry worker’s compensation, property damage and liability insurance? Ask for proof of insurance or for the name of an insurance agent you can call to verify the coverage.
  3. Ask whether the contractor is licensed for the type of work you need. Does the firm meet the bonding requirements of your town, county or state?
  4. Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed. The contractor should be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required.
  5. Ask the contractor to provide a lien waiver when the job is completed. A lien waiver is a statement that all suppliers and contractors have been paid for materials and labor. 
  6. Ask for a contract and read it. Get any verbal promises in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start date and expected completion date.
  7. Don’t pay the entire amount due until the work is completed, and you are satisfied. Be careful if a contractor wants to be paid in full up front. In some cases, a contractor may need a down payment to cover materials. But the bulk of the money should not be due until the work is complete.
  8. Always check a company’s BBB Business Profile at www.bbb.org.

 

Consumers may obtain BBB Business Profiles or post Customer Reviews by going to www.bbb.org. Assistance also is available by calling 314-645-3300.

St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), cthetford@stlouisbbb.org

Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), skreter@stlouisbbb.org

Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, sspence@columbiabbb.org

Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, jkeys@capegirardeaubbb.org

Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), mclingingsmith@quincybbb.org

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.