When Do You Fire General Contractor

When do you fire general contractor, who’s (supposedly) remodeling the kitchen? PureWow writes, “A bad contractor is kind of like a bad boyfriend–he doesn’t return your calls, he acts shady when you ask him questions and he can’t commit to a date.” When we see certain telltale signs that our contractor is unprofessional.

  1. He Doesn’t Call You Back. “He doesn’t call. He doesn’t write.” While it may be a punch line to a bad joke, a missed call is one thing, but if a contractor doesn’t get back to you in 24 hours, there’s a good chance he’s not serious about the job.
  2. He Won’t Give You a Quote in Writing or Sign a Contract. The way to protect yourself and the contractor is to put job details and estimates on paper. If he doesn’t give you what you want, you defer to the contract. If you start asking him to go above and beyond the scope of work, he defers to the contract.
  3. He Asks for Payment in Full Upfront. “Most states allow contractors to ask for a maximum 33 percent deposit. If yours wants more than that, he may be trying to pocket the money and run. Contractors should have enough credit to foot at least some of the bill for materials on their own and should be happy to accept the remainder of payment as major project milestones are completed.”
  4. He Won’t Commit to a Timeframe and Says He Only Works “Off” Hours. –Sure, he’s probably got multiple jobs to juggle, but if he can’t organize his schedule, he may not be very good at organizing the project either. Other hints to a bad organizer or just plain shady would be working very early in the morning or super late at night, and working during odd hours
  5. He’s Late or Doesn’t Show Up on the Day He Says He’s Coming. If he can’t be bothered to show up on time or on the day discussed, he’s either overloaded or juggling too much at once. I once used a sub that didn’t show up because he was injured trying to drink a flaming drink while it was still on fire.
  6. He Doesn’t Have the Right Tools for the Job. “You’ve drawn up a contract outlining exactly what work will be done and what materials are needed. Then he shows up without the right screwdriver? You can do better.”
  7. He Doesn’t Clearly Explain the Work That He’s Doing. If he’s vague, elusive or unwilling to thoroughly answer your questions, he could be incompetent or trying to hide something.
  8. He Goes Rogue and Doesn’t Follow the Contract. “If he starts fixing things outside the scope or appears to be buying shoddy parts and pocketing the difference, your best bet is to show him the door.”
  9. He’s Not Familiar with OSHA Guidelines. You know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Construction workers and contractors are required to follow certain safety protocol, but if your contractor plays dumb or turns a blind eye, he could be trying to nail you if anyone suffers from a sprain, strain or fall.
  10. He Doesn’t Clean Up After the Job. In a recent survey by Invoice2go, 85 percent of participants rated cleaning up after the job as the top behavior that proved the credibility of their home renovation service provider. He should leave the job site clean each day.

Now you know when do you fire general contractor. Last year we wrote a piece called Selecting a General Contractor. See what you should look for in a general Contractor.

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