On a regular basis, the team at Hinkle Hardscapes connects with a homeowner who is looking for a professional to fix the mistakes of a contractor who built a hardscaping structure in their yard. These are some of our least favorite phone calls to receive. We know there is nothing quite as frustrating as investing a large amount of money into your home only to learn you hired someone who is unprofessional or doesn’t have the skills to produce results that will last for years.
Whether you are building a new patio or adding an entire backyard retreat to your home, these structures must withstand fluctuating temperatures, extreme weather, and the wear and tear of heavy use. Because of this, the person building the hardscaping in your yard needs to understand how to properly prepare the ground, how to select the best products, and how to build a strong structure that will last.
Unfortunately, not all contractors have these skills and some simply don’t have the integrity to do business in an honest manner. Because of this, you must be exceptionally careful when hiring a contractor. How can you know a contractor is worth your time and money? Keep an eye out for these five reasons you should run from any contractor.
#1. They Don’t Have Pictures of Their Past Jobs
When it comes to hardscaping contractors, past performance is really the best indication of how satisfactory their work on your lawn will be. We advise you to ask all potential hires to provide pictures of their past work as evidence of the quality of their work.
#2. They Ask You to Put Down 50% or More as a Deposit
It is fairly common for contractors in all industries to ask for a deposit before they begin work. At Hinkle Hardscapes, we only ask for 25 percent down because we believe we should provide you with satisfactory work before we ask you for anymore. A company that asks for 50 percent or more may have motivation for doing so, they could be having cash flow problems or may not intend to complete the work as promised.
#3. They Aren’t Insured or Licensed
Contractors in just about every home improvement industry should be able to provide proof that they have a license relevant to the work they perform. A license serves as proof that the contractor has completed the necessary training and is following the legal requirements outlined by your city or state. Additionally, all contractors should carry both liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. These policies should cover any damage that could possible affect your home, or injuries to your family or the employees your contractor has hired.
#4. They Have Poor Communication Skills
Your first few interactions with your contractor should set the tone for how well they will communicate in the future. If you find a contractor isn’t returning your phone calls, doesn’t show up on time, or won’t respond to emails, this is a pretty good indication of how poorly they will communicate while working on the project.
#5. Trust Your Gut
There is something to be said for your initial gut reaction when you meet with or speak to a contractor for the very first time. If a contractor makes you feel uneasy or gives you a bad feeling in your gut, don’t ignore it! Trust your gut and always hire a contractor you feel comfortable with.
The team at Hinkle Hardscapes has spent years working hard to build a reputation in Kansas City and the surrounding areas as a reliable and skilled hardscape contractor. To learn more about working with our team to create your backyard retreat, click here or call (816) 608-8870 to schedule an initial hardscape design consultation.