lies-pittsburgh-remodeling-tellWhen you’re ready to tackle large home improvement projects, hiring a Pittsburgh remodeling contractor can be a fighting prospect for many homeowners. We’ve all heard nightmarish stories of unfinished projects, skyrocketing fees, and shoddy work.

Not all contractors will lie to you, but unfortunately there are some who are less than ethical. In order to avoid a “bad apple,” it helps to know the red flags to look for. Here are three big lies that Pittsburgh remodeling contractors may tell you in order to snag your business.

"My Prices Are Set in Stone"

This is rarely the case on any remodeling job. Sometimes you may decide to change a material at the last minute. You may choose to drop a feature or add a feature. You may run into an unforeseen issue such as bad wiring behind the wall. Home projects always have a little bit of fluidity to them, and therefore prices are hardly ever set in stone.

The best way to price a remodeling project is to secure several bids from Pittsburgh remodeling contractors. Those bids should be itemized, so that you can make accurate comparisons. Once you choose a contractor, the itemized list also allows you to track the cost of any changes that may need to occur as the project progresses.

"If You Don’t Get a Permit, You’ll Save on Property Taxes"

Every remodeling job requires permits, and they do cost money to secure. However, if you aren’t adding on square footage, your property taxes probably won’t be impacted. What the contractor is actually saying is, “I don’t want to do the work to secure the permits.”

Your contractor may also tell you that it is up to you to secure the permits. This is also untrue. If you apply for and secure the permit yourself, you are then held liable for compliance of that permit. Steer clear of any Pittsburgh remodeling contractor that pushes back on the permit issue. You don’t want to get caught without them on your job.

"You Must Pay for Materials up Front"

Hiring a remodeling contractor is not the same as doing a job yourself. While you would have to pay for your own materials up front on a DIY project, professional tradesmen and contractors typically have a 90 day grace period to pay their supplies.

Not to mention the fact that established businesses should have cash flow and therefore should have money on hand to pay for their own materials up front if necessary. If a contractor is asking for materials money from you up front, it likely means that they have run out of credit with their suppliers, which should be taken as a red flag.

Reputable remodeling contractors will ask for a deposit to secure the start date once the contract is signed, as deposits are sound business practices. However, under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the contractor cannot accept a deposit in excess of 1/3 of the contract price, or 1/3 of the contract price plus the cost of special order materials.

Avoiding Bad Remodeling Contractors

All of these lies should raise red flags for Pittsburgh homeowners. The best way to avoid nightmare contractor is to thoroughly vet all potential contractors before making your choice.

Ask friends and family for their recommendations, check ratings on the Better Business Bureau, and ask for referrals.

Always remember Pittsburgh remodeling contractors must be licensed to work within the city limits and there are penalties associated with hiring a contractor that is not city-licensed.

Seek proof of the contractor’s licenses and certifications, and be sure to get an itemized estimate and an itemized contract that includes a payment schedule, a dispute resolution clause and a lien waiver preventing subcontractors or others from putting a lien on your home if invoices are unpaid.

If you are planning home renovations and you are searching for a trusted Pittsburgh remodeling contractor, Legacy Remodeling is here to help.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about our track record, our methods and our ideas to help you get the most from your home remodeling project.