Beware the Home Improvement Contractor

Are you planning to replace the roof of your house, remodel a room, or do some other type of home improvement? Even if you’re a Do-It-Yourself kind of person, you may not have the time or effort available to do it yourself. So you’ll need a home improvement contractor. But choosing the right one is crucial, to ensure that the job gets done both properly and proficiently. Here are some tips to find the right contractor:

1. Look for contractors who are licensed, bonded, and insured.

This is one of the most important steps when searching for a home improvement contractor. Verify that the person has a valid license to perform such work. This will help to ensure that the person has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to do the job correctly. It’s vital that the worker adhere to industry standards when performing work on your home.

Also, the contractor should be bonded. In case something goes wrong and the contractor doesn’t complete the work that the two of you (or you and his company) had agreed upon, this will help to ensure that you’re protected.

Finally, make sure that the home improvement contractor be insured. Accidents can even happen to the most careful of people, so it’s crucial that the worker is properly insured-to protect you and him.

2. Review reviews.

Of course, you should take these “reviews” with a grain of salt. Some reviews will be inflated because they were actually written about a particular improvement of a job -and BY that same company! On the other hand, you should also be cautious about reviews that are 100% negative. While this could be justified, some homeowners are tough to please and could never find a home improvement contractor that they’re fully satisfied with. So a better option is to review evaluations by completely unbiased organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau in the USA.

3. Get written estimates, contracts, and warranties.

Insist on getting written estimates, and never get verbal estimates either in person or over the phone. Verbal estimates could mysteriously change once the contractor starts the work.

After you choose a contractor to do the home improvement(s), make sure to get a written contract. It should include precisely all the work that the contractor will do, as well as a timeframe for its completion. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you’ve used your bifocals or magnifying glass to read all the fine print.

Also, only choose contractors that are willing to back up their work with a written warranty. Again, only such documents are legally binding. If something goes wrong, make sure that you’re not left high and dry with a shoddy home improvement job.

4. Get personal referrals.

It’s been said that personal referrals are the best ones. That’s because it’s highly unlikely that our friends, relatives, and colleagues would lead us astray. Find out if they’ve had similar work done to their homes, and whether there are any home improvement contractors or companies that they’d recommend. This will definitely help to narrow down your search, since you’ll want to avoid those people and companies that you get negative feedback about.

These tips can help to find the right contractor who can work to make your house an ever better one!

Home Improvement Contractor

Looking for a home improvement contractor wouldn’t be much different from looking and evaluating applicants to a job opening. You have some background checking to do and more.

The first thing that you should do in assessing if home improvement contractor ideal for your remodeling project is to check if the prospective contractor has the appropriate license, whether that individual is a licensed construction supervisor and/or a registered home improvement contractor. You also need to check if adequate workers compensation insurance and liability insurance cover the contractor.

References are also important. Have the contractor submit to you a written listing of the three previous recent home projects he/she completed, the homeowners and their contact details. Check with these homeowners and ask their opinion on the contractor’s performance.

Another vital reference source on a contractor would be your local better business bureau, the local building regulators and the Office of the Attorney General. These bodies will have records if a contractor is facing some consumer complaints or have been subjected to disciplinary actions before.

After you have found a one who meets these basic requirements, draw up or ask for a contract. Entrust the job to the contractor only after you have a written contract that you understand and agree with its terms. A consultation with your lawyer on the home improvement contract would be most ideal.

Some states also specifically require that it is the home improvement contractor who should apply for the building permit. So be sure to check with your contractor regarding the responsibility for construction permit application.