Some contractor scams are obvious enough that we see them coming from miles away. But other scams come from unexpected places. Following these tips can help you keep from falling prey to a scam or an illegitimate contractor.

Low Prices – One of many contractor scams

We’ll keep this part short and sweet: if a bid comes in significantly lower than what you’ve seen in your research, that should raise red flags. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Contractor Scams Use Pressure Tactics

A little bargaining can be a natural part of the bidding process, but you should never feel as though you’re being pressured to take on a particular contractor or accept a particular “deal.” Request time to consider the offer (especially if it’s one of several you’ve received), and send a contractor packing if they resist. Those are often the same people who will try to pressure more money out of you after the contract is signed and work has started. This is not exactly a contractor scam, but certainly something you want to avoid.

Requesting Payment in Full Up Front

Any contractor will ask for an initial deposit before work is started. In addition, it’s not uncommon on larger projects to work out payments when certain phases of the project are completed. However, no reputable painting contractor will ever ask for the full amount up front. Never pay the final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction.

No Contract, or a Suspiciously Vague Contract

A handshake agreement is fine if you’re lending $50.00 to a friend. When it comes to a commercial painting project, however, a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. You shouldn’t have to insist on, or even need to ask about, whether the scope of the project will be covered in writing; we understand that a contract is about protecting our best interests as well as yours, and we do our best to ensure it’s as specific as possible.

Suspicion or Agitation Over Routine Questions – A Sure Sign of Contractor Scams

We welcome questions. To us, it’s a sign that you’re doing your due diligence, and it’s also a clear indication that you’ve given sufficient thought to this project to have an idea of what you want. For us, it’s an opportunity to explain our processes, provide you with references, and sometimes to brag on what we’ve accomplished (we’re only human, after all).

If you’re asking questions of a potential contractor and you get the distinct impression that you’re being stonewalled, or that your questions are being met with nervousness or hostility, it’s time to consider other options. You could be face to face with one of the many potential contractor scams out there.

Missing Documentation

We wish that commercial painting was as simple as laying down a few coats and then heading home. While we take pride in our work, the rules and regulations can seem onerous at times. But we take care in staying compliant. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured. In addition, we’re diligent about addressing permitting issues; like a thorough contract. That’s because it’s for our protection and yours alike. If a painter hasn’t bothered to do those things, they’re not worth your time or money.


This doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of “contractor scams,” but we’d like to take a minute to talk about experience. Some contractors mean well, and we all have to start somewhere. Some newer companies will have all of the above bases covered — they’re fully legal, their payment terms are correct, and they’re patient with your questions. However, when the time comes to get to work, they may be learning on the job, or may have an experienced supervisor overseeing a crew of new recruits. 

That’s not how we handle things, we can make sure you don’t get taken by any contractor scams. You can trust our experience, training, and reliability. We only hire experienced team members who already know their craft. That makes a difference you’ll see from the first day. To find out more contact Local SD Painting today to request a quote.