Home Improvement Home Truths – part three

By administrator On May 6th, 2009

The crunch test for you is when you decide to hire a contractor. You have to be ready with questions and counter-questions. Do your research; know the most likely fibs and wishy-washy evasive answers that the not-so-honest contractors are apt to give. These questions come at different stages of your screening process. In the beginning of your screening process you can select or reject contractors based on some simple questions – remember that these are recurring questions that you need to ask at all stages of your screening process. Finally you could be down to five contractors, then three and then you may have to select one or two out of these.

Check for how long the company has been in business. Has it always been doing business under the same name? The remodeler should be registered and licensed with the state. This is something you can find out even by visiting his website if he has one. A word of suggestion on websites, stay clear from websites that have a shoddy design; too-good-to-be-real testimonials and no clear FAQs. The remodeler should confirm to the licensing requirements of your locality.

The contractor’s license should confirm to the requirements of your local building department and also be current. You are within your rights if you ask to see the contractor’s license. How many projects like yours has he done in the recent past? Can he give references? These questions will help you find out how familiar the contractor is with the kind of project you have in mind. You may also go and visit jobs in progress to get an idea of how he works; finished projects do not give an idea of a contractor’s working style.

Most localities will require that you get a permit for the remodeling job, ask the prospective contractor if he can get the permits for you; it is his job in fact to get the permits ready. If he asks you to get the permits, strike his name off the list. Usually unlicensed and unregistered contractors avoid getting permits. If the contractor is using sub-contractors then see that those guys are insured and that the insurance is current. They should also have the required licenses. Ask the subcontractors if the contractor pays them promptly.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *