Before calling a contractor on Craigslist or a bandit sign, find out if they are licensed and insured. People can be nuts, aggressive and con artists. I didn’t learn my lesson enough; third time was the charm. The first call was off of a bandit sign for air conditioning repair and recharging. Since my A/C was leaking in my living room, immediate action was needed and the sign was there for me when I needed a number. The technician came out, not alone but with two other men, one very big and scary. We told them what the issue was and to let us know before doing anything to the system. They went outside to take a look at the system. A few minutes later they came back in saying that they flushed out the system, and we owed them $70. We never agreed to that and didn’t even know if it was true. We negotiated $35. We gave it to him just to go away without a problem.

The second contractor was a man who showed up to replace my burnt up lawn. He seemed to be professional. He showed us a business license, had a briefcase and contract. He said that he needed $150 for the sod to get started. We felt confident about the money since we had given him a check. We got a copy of his driver’s license and business license. He cashed the check, never came back, and we were out $150. We later filed a police report. The officer followed up with us to say that we could sue him civilly. We already put too much time, effort and money toward this, so we just let it go. He had no money; it was obvious by the car he drove and the way he looked so the lesson was on us.
   Finally, you would think we were done with unheard of contractors. Here is the final story of three:
   We got a car as part of a job that we did. The car stunk so badly of cat that there was no way we’d be able to sell it without a professional cleaning, and we didn’t have the carpet cleaner to do it, plus we didn’t want to clean it. I hired a man from Craigslist that arrived at my house and cleaned the car in the driveway. He used my driveway as his office. He cleaned for a few minutes then took a call. This continued on for four hours. Once the carpet was dry, it smelled terrible again.
Licensed and insured is the way to go every time!!! Pay the extra few dollars for a licensed and insured professional like us. You won’t feel uncomfortable, scared, and you will have a peace of mind knowing that the job is getting done properly and safely.