How to Hire Home Improvement Contractors
When you think about hiring home improvement contractors there are a few things you need to look into. Remember, you are going to allow people into your home, sometimes when you are not going to be there, and you shouldnít have to worry about what they are doing when youíre not around. The vast majority of home remodeling contractors are honest and use only the best workers; there are a few questions you will want to ask before signing any contract.
From your initial considerations you should look into at least three companies that do the work you are looking to have done. References from friends, family and neighbors that may have experience with a home remodeling contractor can be good source of ideas.
Once you narrow down the list of companies for home remodeling and repair work look at their past history. Check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to learn more about each company. You will want to get at least three estimates for the work, but donít only look at the overall cost. Compare the cost of materials, labor, the warranty and the time estimated for the project to take and compare each part of the cost.
You will also want to make sure the company is insured against damages to your home or property and that you are protected against any such loss. Even if the company shows you an insurance certificate you may want to check with the stateís department of insurance to verify it is still valid. No matter how good they look on paper, get references from at least three recent projects. Donít be afraid to call those references. You donít want to sign a contract from a home improvement contractor that just happens to be working in the neighborhood.
Never allow work to begin without having a signed contract. Honest home improvement contractors will not start unless one is signed but more importantly, make sure every aspect of the work to be done is covered by the contract. Read the fine print. Any building contractor that wants more than 33 percent of the cost up front can be a red flag. Never pay in cash. The final payment should not be made until you are satisfied that all specifics in the contract has been fulfilled.
Be sure to get all warranty promises in writing on each of the products being installed by the home improvement contractors. You will also want assurances that all employees of the contractor are bonded to protect against theft or property damage.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Sabo is president of Sunshine Contracting, one of the top contractors in Virginia. They specialize in roofing, decks, siding, doors and windows and their work has been featured in the Washington Post.