It’s time for you to upgrade your home. You’ve got all the plans in place. Now, all you need is an experience professional to do the work. Seems easy enough, right? Maybe in a perfect world. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sub-par contractors out there. These people can make your life miserable in a whole lot of ways. Here are some of the consequences of choosing a bad contractor.

Work Might Not Be Done Correctly

The most obvious risk of hiring a bad contractor is that your project might not get done the right way. Bad contractors are in it for the money. They will do the minimum amount of work to make it appear as though they have done an acceptable job. And that’s still more than can be said of a lot of shoddy contractors. Some won’t even do you the dignity of leaving things looking like they’re done correctly. If you want your home improvements to actually better your house, make sure to pay attention to online reviews. Referrals can be great; but you should also do your own research.

You Lose Money

Another huge risk of hiring the wrong contractor is that you’ll be out a lot of money. There are a few ways this can happen. It’s possible that they will end up needing more money than was originally quoted in their estimate. This can be a result of inexperience or nefarious behavior. Contractors who quote low then charge high are probably scamming everyone that way. It’s also possible that an unlicensed contractor will leave without finishing a job. This can leave you in a bind, as they have no responsibility to finishing the project.

You Can Be Liable for Injuries

There’s another reason why bad contractors can be a dangerous gamble. If a contractor (licensed or otherwise) is injured while working on your home, you can be held liable for their medical bills. Unlicensed contractors aren’t required to have workers’ compensation insurance, which typically covers injuries. Depending on your homeowners insurance, it’s possible that you’ll be held liable in the event that someone gets hurt. Compare homeowners insurance policies to see how different plans deal with this.

They Won’t Treat Your Home Well

You don’t want to hire someone who won’t treat your home with respect. However, that’s exactly what you’ll get if you hire a bad contractor. It’s possible that they’ll damage your house or landscaping in their negligence. Depending on the job, they might have excess materials left over when it’s done. Bad contractors often leave their garbage and unwanted resources behind once they’ve gotten their check. That will leave you with the responsibility of cleaning everything up. That’s probably not what you had in mind when you hired a contractor.

You are only setting yourself up for a miserable time by hiring a bad contractor. Skip the bad contractors. Trying to save a bit of money isn’t worth the potential consequences.

Finding Good Contractors

While this article mostly focused on the costs and consequences of bad contractors, good contractors deserve a shout out. After all, a well-executed contracting job can make your home more beautiful and efficient. Heck, you might even save money on your homeowner’s insurance!

Ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers for references. They might “a guy” or “gal” they trust for certain projects. It helps not to pick the first person you talk to. Take a moment to interview two or three contractors before settling on one. Sure, online reviews can point you in the right direction, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting.

One last thing to remember: You get what you pay for. If you want a job done fast and cheap, the end result will look it. If you want something that appears professionally done, you’ll need to hire a contractor for what they are worth.