When someone is selecting a home contractor, it’s important to follow these steps to secure one’s project and home. Always know what type of work you want before interviewing contractors. This prevents you from being scammed.
Home Contractor Recommendations
Always ask for referrals from relatives, neighbors and friends. This is the best way to find a qualified professional to tackle your project. Ask them what made it is a positive experience, how the contractor worked and whether they would use them again.
Narrow your list of contenders down and set up meetings with each. How a contractor answers your question is important. Make sure you prepare a list before the meeting. Remember that the best contractors are busy and won’t always be able to start immediately.
Look at Home Contractor Credentials
Do some preliminary research and find out whether they hold the required licenses from state and local municipalities. Look for contractors who are members of professional associations as they often require testing.
Ask to see some pictures of some of their past projects. Request references and call these customers to check up on them and ask about their experience. Ask them if they were on budget and on time, if they were pleased with the result and if they wished anything had been done differently. Quality of service will determine the final product.
Other Important Things to Consider
Make sure that the contractor has a permanent mailing address, personal phone number, cell phone and voicemail. Check for active liability insurance policies. A remodeler should also explain how much the project will add to your home’s value. Inquire how long the company has been in business. Also, find out if they have solid relationships with other contractors such as electricians and plumbers that they work with as a team. Does the contractor have a trustworthy reputation and a track record of success? Research if they have earned any continuing education training for their trade.
Always Get It In Writing
After you select a contractor, closely inspect all documents and determine if the contract is fair and professional. Look at the price and payment schedule, the site plan, the specifics and scope of the work, the schedule of contraction task, a written list of close-out, a change-order clause and a waiver of lien. This prevents subcontractors from putting a lien on a home should their invoices go unpaid by the contractor that was hired. Also make sure that the contract includes what work will be done by their employees specifically and which tasks by subcontractors. An employee list is also helpful.
Read Online Reviews
Websites such as Google, Yelp and Angie’s List offer helpful reviews on particular businesses.
Make sure that all permits are in place before construction. It is the job of the home contractor to secure these. Heavy fines will ensue if contractors are caught without proper permits. Unpermitted work can cause problems when it is time to sell a home.
Never pay more than 10% of the job before a job starts.
Discuss what kind of notice you will get, what hours the contractor can work, what bathroom works will be used and what will be cleaned up each workday.
Get Lien Releases and Receipts
If your contractor doesn’t pay his subcontractors they can put a mechanic’s lien on your home. Ask for copies of receipts of all materials and lien releases from all the workers before work begins.
Wait To Pay In Full
Never pay for a job until the contractor has completed the entire project. Make sure you are satisfied with the work and have all the proper lien releases and receipts to protect your assets.
All of these are important things to consider when looking for a home contractor. By taking this process seriously, you can ensure the best result for your particular project. All of these little details could save you from costly repairs, a lien on your home or problems selling your home in the future. Carefully read all contractors, closely interview all candidates and only hire a contractor you are sure is professional and will do the best comprehensive job.