There are different stories on the net of homeowners getting ripped off by different kinds of home improvement contractors. Sometimes, it can’t be avoided that some contractors did not live up to your expectations or not carried out what was agreed. If you are planning on having a major home improvement around your house and property, it is best that you are protected. This will reduce any risks of getting ripped off by contractors and increase the probability of enjoying great results.
Here are some tips:
- Finding the right contractor for the job will not be easy. There are a lot of contractors around in different industries. But, if you think you have found the best company to help out with your home improvement project, then you have to make sure that you get everything into writing. This contract should detail everything that you want to be done in your house and what to expect from them. This should also detail the labor, product, materials, costs, and other fees that may be incurred in the project. The contract should also state the timeline of the entire project – when it will start, what will happen in each stage, and when the project will be realized. Payment options should also be included. If the company you hire will use other contractors for certain parts of the project, make sure that you check their license, references, and insurance policy.
- Before you hire any contractor, it is a must that you check their licensing. Make sure everything is legit and everything is what they say it is. There are a lot of companies that claim that they are properly licensed when they are not. So, make sure you get everything checked. Ask for a copy of their license. If they are who they say they are, they would not be scared of sharing that information with you. In addition, you can also ask them about building code requirements and other papers that you may need to acquire before a project can be started. A legit company will be able to help you out with these requirements. Plus, they should also be able to provide the proper insurance for you.
- Always check for insurance. A reputable home improvement contractor should be able to give you the proper insurance for the job that needs to be done. If a company can’t provide you any insurance, then they are not worth spending time and money with. Having insurance will help protect you and your property. Accidents can happen at any time, especially in the immediate areas where the project will be held. This insurance can help cover property damage, accidents, and others. Without insurance, a contractor employee can sue you in case an accident happens in the duration of the project. Thus, having an insurance is a must.
- Better Business Bureau. This agency is the best resource to check whether a company is legit or not. You will also find unbiased reviews of a contractor in this agency. Complaints and how these issues are resolved should also be available on BBB (Better Business Bureau). Any unresolved issues will also be posted on the website. If there are any, the rating of the company will drop. Visiting the website of BBB and checking out company profiles will help provide you a background of how good of a company the contractor you are planning to hire is.
- Fake Reviews. You must know that reviews posted by people that a company hires are also available online. Thus, make sure that you are reading legit reviews of homeowners that the contractor had worked with. It is not all the time the reviews that you see online are accurate. There is really no tell-tale whether a review is real or not. This is why recommendations from friends and family are You can also do your own research and investigation before hiring anyone. A small personal research would not hurt, especially when you are hiring someone that will knock down some pieces of your house.
- Payment Plan. Experienced and reputable companies will not expect for you to pay them the entire fee of the project right away. They should be able to provide you the right payment plans for the project. If the contractor asks for a deposit, don’t be alarmed. This is normal. A deposit will also give them guarantee as contractors. This will be their cushion in case a homeowner backs out of the contract.