What characteristics and practices separate good contractors from the bad? The majority of home improvement projects include a fair amount of costs and stress, so knowing that you have the right contractor can make all the difference. While it may be true that anyone with tools and a pick-up truck can become a contractor, most states require contractors to be licensed. Don’t be afraid to do some research prior to hiring a contractor for a project. Check on references from previous customers and ask to see completed projects in person if possible. Consider collecting three bids on a potential project to determine if the estimates received are reasonable. While it may require a little bit of work up front, getting the right contractor can be easier then you think.
Points to consider when talking with a potential contractor to ensure you receive the care and service your home improvement project requires:
- Make sure the contractor is licensed by the state, ask for references from past customers and ask for examples of past projects in the area.
- Collect three bids on the project and beware of, “To Good To Be True”, low bids.
- Check on whether or not an architect is needed as part of the planning/approval process for the home improvement work to be performed.
- Consider having any contracts or agreements with the contractor reviewed by a real estate lawyer or independent third party.
- Ensure subcontractors are paid upon completion of their work to protect against liens or other legal action that may affect the home.
- Set up a reasonable payment schedule for the project with the contractor. This includes agreeing upon an initial down-payment for the project.
- Establish a set work schedule with the contractor to ensure timely completion of the project.
- Make sure the contractor is willing and able to obtain all permits and inspections in order to comply with local building codes and city ordinances.
- Always maintain a good working relationship with the contractor, but keep it professional.
For additional tips and information please visit the following article from Yahoo Finance, "10 Things Your Contractor Won’t Tell You."
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