Hiring Remodeling Contractors

It’s almost spring and many homeowners are thinking of hiring remodeling contractors to prepare their home for sale this spring or are looking to upgrade their existing space or add an addition. As with any industry, there are some excellent remodeling professionals out there and there are some less-than-desirable ones as well. Hire the wrong one and you could be dealing with a nightmare. Here are some excellent tips for all homeowners when hiring a remodeling contractor.

1. Get at least three written estimates. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
2. Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints and ask if the contractor belongs to a professional organization such as NARI or NAHB’s Remodeler Council.
4. Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
5. Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
7. Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
11. Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.


Finally, if you feel that your project is not being handled correctly or your contractor is not honoring your written contract, don’t hesitate to consult an attorney. A strongly worded letter from an attorney to your contractor can many times get your project back on track quickly.


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