When you think about hiring home improvement contractors there are
a few things you need to look into. Remember, you are going to allow people
into your home, sometimes when you are not going to be there, and you shouldnt
have to worry about what they are doing when youre not around. The vast
majority of home remodeling contractors
are honest and use only the best workers; there are a few questions you will
want to ask before signing any contract.
From your initial considerations
you should look into at least three companies that do the work you are looking
to have done. References from friends, family and neighbors that may have
experience with a home remodeling
contractor can be good source of ideas.
Once you narrow down the list of
companies for home remodeling and repair
work look at their past history. Check with the Better Business Bureau in your
area to learn more about each company. You will want to get at least three
estimates for the work, but dont only look at the overall cost. Compare the
cost of materials, labor, the warranty and the time estimated for the project
to take and compare each part of the cost.
You will also want to make sure
the company is insured against damages to your home or property and that you
are protected against any such loss. Even if the company shows you an insurance
certificate you may want to check with the states department of insurance to
verify it is still valid. No matter how good they look on paper, get references
from at least three recent projects. Dont be afraid to call those references.
You dont want to sign a contract from a home
improvement contractor that just happens to be working in the neighborhood.
Never allow work to begin without
having a signed contract. Honest home
improvement contractors will not start unless one is signed but more
importantly, make sure every aspect of the work to be done is covered by the
contract. Read the fine print. Any building
contractor that wants more than 33 percent of the cost up front can be a
red flag. Never pay in cash. The final payment should not be made until you are
satisfied that all specifics in the contract has been fulfilled.
Be sure to get all warranty
promises in writing on each of the products being installed by the home improvement contractors. You will
also want assurances that all employees of the contractor are bonded to protect
against theft or property damage.