Red Flags That You Are Really Not Working With A General Contractor

Professional Advice

Finding good general contractors can be tricky, and more than once, you have probably hired the wrong people to do your home improvement or construction jobs. But it does not have to be that way! 

In this blog, we will tell you what to look out for in your potential Wake County general contractors so that you can hire with confidence and avoid being taken advantage of by people who don’t care about doing their jobs well or doing them at all.

To avoid wasting time and money on bad contractors, keep an eye out for these red flags before hiring anyone to do any work on your home or property.

Red Flag 1: They have bad or zero reviews

When looking for a general contractor in Wake County, it is important to do your research. A good place to start is by reading reviews. 

If a contractor has no reviews or all bad reviews, that is a huge red flag. You should also be wary of contractors who have only good reviews — these could be fake reviews written by the contractor themselves. 

You will also want to check with local city or state licensing agencies for any complaints that may have been filed against them.

Red Flag 2: They don’t have references

Another red flag you should be aware of when trying to avoid hiring bad general contractors is if they don’t have references. 

No references could mean that they are new to the contracting business and have not yet had a chance to build up a good reputation. It could also mean that they have done a poor job on past projects and that their previous clients were unhappy with their work. 

So if a contractor does not have any references, it is best to proceed with caution and maybe look for someone else with references you can contact. 

Red Flag 3: They don’t have proof of insurance

When hiring a contractor, always ask for proof of insurance. A good general contractor in Wake County will have both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. If they don’t have either, you should move on to someone else. 

Hiring a contractor without insurance puts you at risk financially if something goes wrong, and it also shows that the contractor is not willing to invest in protecting themselves or their clients.

Red Flag 4: They are cheap 

While you may be tempted to go with a general contractor whose bid is significantly lower than the others, it could be because they are cutting corners or using lower-quality materials. 

Make sure to get several bids and compare them before making a decision. Don’t just go with the lowest bid without doing your research first.

Red Flag 5: They want to start right away

If a general contractor is pressuring you to start the job immediately, it may be because they are trying to get the job done before you have a chance to fully assess their work. 

A good general contractor in Wake County will want to ensure that you are happy with their work and that all your questions have been answered before starting the job.

Red Flag 6: They don’t want you to sign a contract

If a general contractor asks you not to sign a contract, that is a huge red flag. It could mean they are not licensed or insured, which puts you at risk if something goes wrong. There are also legal protections that come with signing a contract, so you could open yourself up to all sorts of problems if you don’t have one. 

When you first meet with a contractor, make sure they outline every detail of their proposed solution in a contract, so there are no surprises later on down the road. If there is anything unclear or missing from their contract, ensure it is included before any work starts.

Red Flag 7: They asked for the whole payment upfront 

One of the biggest red flags that you are about to hire a bad contractor is if they ask for the entire payment upfront. 

A reputable general contractor in Wake County will usually only ask for a small deposit to cover materials and the rest once the job is completed. If a contractor asks for the full amount upfront, it is likely because they either don’t have the money to purchase materials or they are planning on doing a poor job and skipping town before you have a chance to complain. 

Either way, it is not worth the risk.

Red Flag 8: They are poor communicators 

Good communication is key in any relationship, especially when money is involved. If your general contractor is difficult to get a hold of or is not responsive to your questions and concerns, they may not be the best person for the job.

Red Flag 9: They don’t mention permits

When you are hiring a general contractor in Wake County, be sure to ask about permits. 

Any reputable contractor will mention the need for permits upfront and include the cost of obtaining them in their estimate. If your contractor suggests that you obtain the permits yourself, this is a red flag. It is possible they are not licensed or insured, which could put you at risk if something goes wrong.

Related ReadHow We’re Different from the Competition 


Hiring a contractor should be a thoughtful process — after all, you are trusting them with your home, your money, and your time. However, when you are looking to hire contractors to help with your home remodeling project, it can be difficult to determine which ones will provide the best service at the best price. Unfortunately, there are plenty of con artists out there who will take your money and run without ever delivering what they promised, so it is important to learn how to spot them as soon as possible.  

If you are looking for a reputable general contractor in Wake County, NC, you can count on us. Glasgow Design Build is a Raleigh-licensed general contracting firm specializing in creating new spaces and renovating existing ones. Whether you need help building a porch/deck or other home renovations in Raleigh, NC, we have you covered! Feel free to call (919) 244-2979 or fill out an online form to schedule an appointment.