Contractor Background Check


A Background Check Reduces Headaches with Contractors

With the state of the economy currently, despite any "potential" upturns, most homeowners are finding themselves in a bind. The normal course of action taken by homeowners when they outgrow the home they currently inhabit is to sell their current home and purchase a larger one. However, with the economy in shambles and lenders tightening their lending requirements, this is not feasible for many people. Therefore, they turn to contractors to remodel and expand their current homes. A background check can be a valuable tool here and can help ensure that you are able to attain the addition that you need, without suffering any headaches during the course of the remodel.

A background check performed on a contractor offers numerous benefits for your peace of mind and can even impact your safety and that of your family. Why is a background check so very necessary? To understand this, you will need to understand the nature of some of those aforementioned headaches that can come from dealing with contactors.

Failure to Complete a Job

Contractors are responsible for finishing the job you have contracted them to perform. However, this does not stop many contractors from vanishing into thin air halfway through the job. A background check can help you determine if the contractor you have hired has a history of disappearing before the job is completed. Most consumers, when faced with this situation, will file charges against the contractor for fraud and other crimes. These records will show up during a background check, providing you with vital information to help ensure that you make the correct choice for your needs.

Contractors that fail to complete a job are obviously doing themselves a disservice, but most of those committing this type of action are not actually "in the business." They are scam artists out to make a quick buck from unsuspecting homeowners. They might have the education needed and even begin working; however, they will not finish the job. Often, these contractors require at least half of the estimated cost of the project upfront; when they leave, they take the money with them. A background check can help prevent this from happening to you.

Inferior Construction Quality

Hiring a contractor can put you in for some serious hassles. One of the most common complaints from homeowners is that the contractor performed inferior work. Perhaps their new addition began developing cracks in the foundation; perhaps the roof timbers began sagging due to inadequate support. The contractor might have used inferior materials in the addition, which would cause the entire structure to be weaker than regulations require. A background check can also help avoid these situations.

By performing a background check on any potential contractor, you help ensure that you are hiring the best one for your needs. Homeowners who have been victimized by shoddy building practices quite often take the matter to court. This will be revealed on the contractor's criminal records, helping you avoid a similar fate. It is in your best interest to ensure that you conduct a background check on any professional that you might hire, including contractors.

Lack of Education

In some instances, a contractor will have no criminal charges pressed against him or her. However, that does not mean they are without problems. What education does he or she have that makes them the best choice? This is somewhat akin to having your vehicle serviced by a professional ASE certified mechanic or hiring a "shade tree" mechanic working in the back yard. If the contractor does not have the required education and experience, you will discover that your addition is a horrible mess and might pose a safety hazard, as well.

A background check will reveal the level of education that your contractor has, helping you to ensure that you are not paying good money for work that will not stand the test of time. In addition, a background check will reveal the contractor's job experience. This will help you determine if they have the required expertise to deal with your particular job. If you see no construction-related experience, it is a wise decision to avoid that particular contractor.

Licensing and Legal Requirements

All counties and states within the US have specific building codes. These codes are set to ensure safety within each home, by ensuring the home can withstand specific environmental factors, such as heavy rains, high winds, intense sun exposure or earthquakes and flooding. In order to be considered a viable option, any contractor should have a state license, which means that he or she is intimately familiar with the building codes required to ensure safety. A background check conducted correctly will reveal if your contractor has the necessary state licensing to be a good choice.

If you opt to go with a contractor without licensing, it is very possible that you will regret the decision. Inferior work, a lack of structural integrity in severe conditions and many other factors might make you wish you had chosen a different contractor for your needs.

As you can see, even simply hiring a contractor to help you expand your home can have serious ramifications. Conducting a background check on any potential candidate is the only way that you can ensure you are able to expand your home without suffering a lack of quality or other setbacks that can plague construction projects.

While you can certainly conduct a background check through your local courthouse or other government institution, you will find that these are actually inadvisable options. Today's mobile society means that the contractor you hire might not be a native of your county or even your state. In these cases, you will need to find access to national criminal records and background check tools through an online public records aggregate.