“We happened to be in your neighborhood”
Never hire anyone who says the offer is only good if you sign up right now, or who can’t provide references. The best way to hire someone is by referral.
“We wont know the costs until we start the work”
In some cases, it may be legitimate – having to look behind a wall . But contractors should be able to provide a range, including the “worst case scenario” so you know the ballpark your in.
“We require payment in full before we start work”
Pressure tactics to make the full payment or larger than normal deposit before work begins, should set off alarms, even if the contractor claims they need the money to buy materials. The Canadian Home Builders Association recommends a deposit of 10-15% of the total contract.
“We can offer a special deal if you pay cash and we skip the paperwork”
While it can be tempting, always get an agreement in writing. A written contract protects you, and details the agreement between you and the contractor. Considering a renovation? Feel free to call me for resources that can help.