Building or remodeling in Tulsa? Make sure your contractor is licensed, insured, and has a solid reputation, or you could end up with a chaotic – and costly – project. According to the Better Business Bureau, bad contractors are one of the top sources of consumer complaints. It’s unfortunate that a handful of unprofessional contractors tarnishes the industry’s reputation.
Here’s the good news: There are reliable ways to ensure you hire a top-notch contractor. The city of Tulsa has permitting and licensure laws to help protect citizens, so you can make sure yours follows the law to the letter. Let’s look at why hiring a fully licensed and insured contractor is so important, and the risks involved with taking another route.
Documentation Builds Trust
Any qualified Tulsa contractor should volunteer their credentials with no hesitation. They should show you required licenses, certifications, and insurance documents proving that they have ample coverage for themselves and their employees.
Ask for these documents, and if they can’t produce them, beware. They’re either too disorganized to keep track of their credentials – which doesn’t bode well for your project – or they are outright unqualified. Having the right documentation on hand is the first sign that it’s a company you can trust.
Keeping Things on Track
The city of Tulsa has the authority to halt a project that doesn’t meet legal rules. If you don’t work with a contractor who’s following permitting standards, it could be shut down before it even starts.
Work stoppage is a nightmare scenario for any construction project. Each aspect of the project has to be planned in advance, carefully timed for each progressive step. When you’re working with a skilled and licensed contractor, they have the deep knowledge base to plan the project properly and have all permits in place before the first day of work.
Protecting Yourself and Site Workers
Licenses and insurance aren’t just for show; They offer worksite protection that comes into play at critical moments. If, for example, a worker is severely injured while working on your project, proper insurance – like workers’ compensation – can ensure they receive medical care.
On a human level, this is just the ethical way of helping an injured person in their time of need. On a financial level, insurance also protects both you and the construction company during worst-case scenarios. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of insurance as you explore hiring a contractor.
Bad Business is Bad for Friendships
You might be tempted to simply hire a friend or family member to tackle a construction project, but this is an extremely risky approach – especially if they’re not licensed and insured. Even if they do have the proper credentials, the ins-and-outs of a construction project can cause stress within a friendship.
Angie’s List has lots of frightening stories about people hiring acquaintances for construction work. These projects often operate without formal contracts, outside of state licensures, and on a loose schedule that causes frustration for everyone involved. It’s definitely not the best way to manage a construction project.
Signs Your Contractor Isn’t Licensed and Insured
So, how do you make sure you’re hiring the right kind of contractor? Look for the warning signs that they’re not a good choice. Here are some red flags:
- Can’t produce licenses and certifications
- Doesn’t have proof of insurance
- Isn’t knowledgeable about the permitting process
- Stalls or balks at your questions about providing proof
- Expresses hostility or talks down to you
- Doesn’t offer a portfolio of previous successful projects
- Can’t provide testimonials and references for you to check
- When you call references, they’re vague or suspicious
- Won’t sign a contract
- Can’t commit to a schedule with deadlines
- Demands unorthodox payment terms, like cash only
- Requires a huge up-front payment from you
R&M Concrete: Credentials and Reputation
R&M Concrete is a Tulsa company with a stellar reputation and a full portfolio of happy customers. If you have a home or commercial project that needs a construction expert with solid credentials, connect with us for a free estimate.