21 Aug What to Know When Hiring a Contractor
So, you’re planning to make some improvements to your home and want to hire a contractor. Great! Hiring a contractor with the right skill set for the job can help you save time and physical stress. However, some contractors tend to make a project more mentally taxing than doing the work on your own. Here are eight things to know when hiring a contractor so you can get the job done stress-free.
1. Get Multiple Estimates
Get written estimates from at least three contractors. Be cautious of estimates that are too high or too low.
2. Hire Local, Licensed Contractors
Local contractors are easier to contact if problems develop. Be suspicious of anyone who goes door-to-door or refuses to leave a contract overnight.
3. Check their Past Work
Check references about the quality of their products, their workmanship and their customer service. Inquire about their professional reputation and years in business with the Better Business Bureau.
4. Don’t Sign a Contract Without Seeing an Estimate First
Some companies will ask you to sign the contract without giving you an estimate. Do not sign. Consider having a lawyer review the proposed contract for your protection.
5. Get Everything in Writing
Secure a comprehensive contract before work begins. Get everything in writing, and make sure the contract is clear and well written.
6. Check their Insurance and Bonding
Make sure the contractor is properly insured and bonded. Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance (COI). If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that
occur on your property.
7. Take Your Time
Get multiple bids before making a decision. Don’t be pressured into making an immediate decision, particularly with regard to signing a contract.
8. Keep a Job File
Keep your contract and all the supporting documents in one folder—paperwork such as plans and specifications, bills and invoices, and certificates of insurance, etc.