The odds are good that if you are looking forward to home improvement projects or renovations, you’re going to need to hire a contractor. You really only have a few options available including hiring a handyman, doing your own work, or going with a contractor who is licensed in your state and insured. Don’t make a choice like this without keeping a few key factors, like these, in mind.
Don’t allow a contractor to lift a single hammer on your project until you have a written and signed contract in place. This is an absolute must, especially if you’re getting any kind of major work done on your house. This contract represents your legal protection in case something goes wrong with the project or disputes arise as the contract continues. Your contract should include every point, including what work is to be completed, the price, materials used and a schedule. Warranties for any work and materials should also be mentioned in the contract. Also make sure the contract has the name and physical address for the contractor before you sign. It’s always a good idea to have your attorney look over the contract before signing.
Ask contractors to provide you with credit or bank references. You really can’t be too careful when it comes to allowing someone in your home and around your family. It’s important, especially when working with contractors you don’t know personally, to know that the contractor has credit in the area. What you’re hoping to avoid is finding a transient worker who can just leave once he has your money. It’s very likely that any legitimate contractor in the neighborhood is going to have some kind of accounts for credit with one of the many local building supply companies. This will only be effective if you choose to go with a licensed contractor rather than a generally jack of all trades kind of helper.
The signing of the initial contract and the completion of the job are the two most important times when dealing with a contractor. It’s very important that you make sure everything is in order before you sign off on the job and pay the contractor the balance. You will, of course, want to make sure that everything has been done as promised. The site should also have been cleaned up by the contractor and any debris should be taken away (this should be in the contract). It’s also important that you get the contractor to prove that he has paid off all subcontractors and suppliers, otherwise they may hold you to account.
Before you can hand over the responsibility of improving your home to someone, you need to find that someone. Finding the correct person to undertake the task at hand will be up to your discretion. This is when the contractor will assume the responsibility and begin your house makeover. This is the reason you need to be positive you find just the right individual for the job.