Before You Hire A Contractor

February 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM | Posted in Before You Hire A Contractor, Best Practices in Business, Beware of Home Improvement Contractors, Conscious Lifestyles Radio Show Blog | 2 Comments


Steve Gonzalez, my Guest for the January 26th and February 2nd shows knows his stuff! Thanks to Steve Gonzalez, hardworking homeowners can arm themselves with knowledge before getting stuck with the many [far too many] bad guys that call themselves “Contractors” or even “Builders” but are just simply scam artists with unnerving tactics to steal your money [and your precious time].

I was surprised to learn from two of my Colleagues at the radio network that they also had horrific stories, and one Show Host actually had a serious Heart Attack as a result of some of the structural and electrical damages that one bad contractor caused in his own home!

It appears that this epidemic of hurting the homeowner is unique to the United States.

I believe that this is a direct manifestation of our corrupted public educational system, and also our corrupted “justice” system that appears to protect and even coddle the criminal before seeking truth or justice for the victims in this area of life.

The public educational system does not want to bother with the “bad kid” in schools, so they ship them off to occupational/vocational-technical schools but they never get to the proximate cause of their behavioral issues, anger, or self-sabotage.

No training in Ethics or good business practices are given to these vocational-technical students who have become invisible in society. But then, when they grow up, they are now in YOUR HOME causing the same disruptiveness and chaos that they never were forced to address as adolescents.

Many have become drug and alcohol addicts on top of their unsavory choices. And again, they are in YOUR HOUSE.

Read Steve Gonzalez’s book, “Before You Hire A Contractor: A Construction Guidebook For Consumers” and check out his website Contractor Watchdog.

1.) Never trust anyone in the building industry, no matter how pleasant they appear initially.

2.) Get a qualified, and experienced Project Manager [who is NOT actually building your home, and who is not taking a commission from what you buy in materials, etc.]

3.) Get an Insurance BOND for large ticket items as well as demand a Bond from a qualified, honest Builder for the entire project. Warranties are great, but they are only as good as the person/company standing behind them. You need proper protection via top-quality insurance AND Bonding to protect your home and your own money. Our own Government municipalities demand this very insurance for their projects, so the homeowner is entitled to this assurance as well.

4.) Compare Apples-to-Apples. Never hire a “spec home” builder for your personal home renovation! They do not know what they are doing in renovations involving an actual homeowner! Also be aware that when the Economy is good, all people in the building ‘trade’ step themselves up a notch. For instance, a Painter suddenly becomes a Carpenter and a Carpenter suddenly becomes a “Builder.” Don’t fall for these scams.

And when the Economy goes sour, the very same scam artists who primarily like to build spec homes suddenly turn into home-renovation experts.

Be careful. Do your homework. Surf the internet for complaints and other information.

I even suggest looking at their financial and historical backgrounds to see if anyone you are hiring to do a small, medium or large project is even worthy of your time, your home, and your money.

You can listen to both shows in the “Archives” section.

USA today cartoon Our Contractor showed up when he said he would


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  1. Thanks for this information. I am considering buying an older home which will need quite a bit of renovation work. The thought of finding an honest and reasonable contractor to do it is pretty scary. I signed up with Angie’s List so I could find someone with good reviews from other people. I figured I would have a better chance of finding someone good and also honest this way.

    • Hi,

      Angie’s List is not always reliable, either. Most internet based contractor list companies have their glitches, and are not to be 100% trusted. You still need to do your research and certainly get Steve Gonzalez’s book.

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