Monday, March 05, 2007

6 simple rules for selecting a contractor.

Home Improvement & Repairs

Home improvements and repairs can cost thousands of dollars and are subject to frequent complaints. These suggestions may help limit unnecessary expense.
Get recommendations and references. Talk to family, friends and others who have used the contractor for similar work.
Get at least three written estimates. Insist that the contractor visit your home to evaluate what needs to be done. Are all 3 estimates based on the same work? Make meaningful comparisons.
Check the contractor’s complaint record. Check with state and local consumer protection agencies.
Make sure your contractor meets licensing and registration requirements. Again, your local or state consumer protection agency can help identify requirements and tell you if your contractor is compliant.
Check with the building inspection department to determine permit and inspection requirements. If the contractor asks YOU to obtain any permits BEWARE. This may be a sign that your contractor is not properly licensed.Finally, DON’T MAKE A FINAL PAYMENT OR SIGN A FINAL RELEASE UNTIL YOUR ARE SATISFIED WITH THE WORK. Have all subcontractors and suppliers been paid? Some states including California, allow suppliers and sub-contractors to put a LIEN against your home if the contractor has failed to pay them.

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