BBB Tips

Hiring A Contractor

Comparing costs before you make a financial commitment toward any home improvement project is very important. In doing so, you should solicit at least two or three bids from prospective contractors, based on the same building specfications, materials, labor, and time needed to complete the project.

Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor, making certain you understand the reasons for any variations in the prices. Do not automatically choose the lowest price. One contractor’s bid may be higher because the materials to be used may be better in quality or because the work will require more time and labor.

Ask the remodeling contractor for local references and find out if the customers were actually satisfied with the contractor’s work. If possible, go and inspect the completed projects.

Find out if the contractor is a member of a professional association which has standards or a code of ethics for remodelers.

Also, contact your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) or consumer affairs office to determine how long the contractor has been in business and if any complaints have been filed against the firm.

Another important matter to consider before hiring a contractor deals with insurance. Ask the contractor if the company is insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability in case of accidents. Then call to verify the contractor’s insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency.

Finally, check with your state, county, or city housing authority to see if the contractor must meet certain licensing and/or bonding requirements in your area. If so, make sure your contractor is properly licensed and bonded.

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