Things to consider when working with a contractor
Things to consider BEFORE hiring a contractor for home repair or remodeling work:
1. Get more than one estimate. Get all estimates in writing.
2. Don't give in to high pressure sales tactics. Compare all estimates. Beware of prices that seem
"too good to be true."
3. Get the name and address of the business. Check their website. Check their references and contact people that provide testimonials. Check how long they have been in business.
4. READ THE CONTRACT CAREFULLY. Make sure it includes:
- The contractor's full name, address, telephone number, and Contractor License Number.
- A detailed description of the work to be performed
- Start date (from date of signing contract) and estimated completion dates
- Total cost for work performed. Find out if estimates are included estimates
- Schedule and method of payment including down payment, subsequent payments, and final payment.
- The contractor's process for changes to the estimate. Request to sign off on all changes and get an estimate of costs for changes. Will the changes be covered by your insurance policy and be included in your claim?
5. Check with the State Licensing Agency to be sure the Contractor's License is CURRENT.
6. DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT that includes blank spaces (or be told "we'll fill that in later")
7. DO NOT SIGN A CONTRACT that you do not understand.
8. Get all GUARANTEES in WRITING.
9. Request lien waivers. This protects you from claims against you or your property in the event the contractor your agreement is with fails to pay subcontractors or material suppliers.
10. Don't make final payment until you are satisfied and all subcontractors have been paid.
11. You have three business days to cancel any contract if the sale is made and signed at your home. The contractor CANNOT take this right away from you.
Beware of the Following:
- Unsolicited door-to-door salespeople.
- A salesperson offers to do home repair work for substantially less than market price.
- A company which lists only a telephone or post-office box number solicits for repair work.
- A contractor does not provide proof of insurance and references when requested, or doesn't have them with him/her.
- Someone who offers to inspect your home for free without identification or providing their business information.
- When a contractor demands cash payment.
- When a contractor requests full payment before the job is complete.
- Never pay a contractor with a check payable to a "third party".
- Contractors that offers to drive you to your bank to withdraw funds to pay for their work.