If you’re hiring a contractor for an upcoming home improvement project, these tips can help ensure that your contractor measures up.
Top Ten Tips for Finding a Good Contractor
- Hire only a licensed contractor.
- Check the license number through your state’s licensing board to ensure he is licensed.
- Get at least three bids and choose the one that gives you the best price for the scope of your project.
- Get at least three references for the contractor you choose and contact these people. You’ll want to review his prior work.
- Ask for a written contract and don’t sign anything until you fully understand all the terms.
- Pay no more than 10 percent or $1,000 down, whichever is less.
- Keep records of payments and don’t let payments get ahead of work. You don’t want him to disappear when you’ve paid him in advance for work that hasn’t been done yet.
- Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied. Put into the contract what that means. For example, some people put into their contracts that they will only receive their final payment when the work passes its final building inspection or when the local building department grants a certificate of occupancy.
- Never pay cash – you cannot keep a paper trail when you pay this way.
- Keep a file of all papers related to your project.
The lowest quote may not actually be the cheapest. Do your research. Ask friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family for recommendations and check with your Better Business Bureau. Remember, cutting corners on a construction project may cost more in the long run due to later repairs or reduced resale value. Protect yourself and your finances!
If you need assistance with financing your home improvement project, please contact us. We offer a convenient application process and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have – we’re here to help!
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