From poor workmanship to incomplete work, to the use of substandard materials, neglecting building codes and consumer fraud; complaints filed by homeowners against contractors make up one of the largest number of consumer complaints filed with the state attorney general’s office. For the homeowner who does not have the time, the tools, or the expertise to attempt the job themselves, it is usually necessary to hire an independent contractor. While there are plenty of proficient, honest and respectable contractors in the marketplace, choosing the most appropriate for you can be easier by following a few simple tips.
Contractors should provide you with a list of past client’s names, contact information, type of work contracted, amount quoted and the actual amount charged. Prepare to contact these references to validate the contractor’s demeanor and workmanship. Prepare your questions in advance. Some questions might include: Did the contractor have a contract? How much of a down payment did they ask for? Did you have any problems with work being performed? Was the contractor pleasant to deal with? Were there any hidden or unexpected costs?
If possible, ask the references if you can view the work that was completed. Former clients are typically exultant to showcase their newly completed projects if they are pleased about the work performed. Consider talking to family, friends and co-workers about reliable companies that they have had personal experience with. It is an effective method to obtain testimonials from trusted sources. Make use of phone books, directories and referral websites to research available contractors. Always complete a background check with the Better Business Bureau for any potential contractors you are considering.
Each contractor has different skill sets and specialties. Research the appropriate contractor required for the work you want to have done. A general contractor is usually the best option if you are considering a large scale project. The general contractor is proficient at organizing a large work force, subcontracting different aspects of the project, as well as procuring supplies and materials needed. Select a contractor who is not only skilled and reliable but also has a strong work ethic.
Never select a contractor based solely on money. The lowest bidder may seem like a good choice, but the adage that you get what pay for is especially true with skilled trades. You should consider obtaining bids from a minimum of three separate contractors. Educate yourself with local building codes and fully understand the scope of the project you are undertaking. A contractor that does not take the time to answer your questions confidently or to your satisfaction should be disregarded immediately.
It is the contractor’s responsibility to provide a contract containing all of their contact information and detailing the work to be performed, the supplies they will be using, the work schedule, any sub contractors involved, as well as a detailed payment schedule. It should also be stated in the contract that you will not pay any costs above the quote unless agreed to in writing. Use extreme caution when signing any legal document. It is advisable to have the contract reviewed by a lawyer that specializes in construction law.
Detail any specific terms that you may have on the contract. Check with local and state regulations regarding down payments. In most states, a payment schedule should be based on milestones and not based on time elapsed. In most cases, the homeowner has the right to withhold a portion of the final balance owing for up to one month after completion of the project to ensure satisfaction. Do not release the balance due before the contractor has completed each milestone detailed in the contract.
Any contractor or worker involved with your project must be fully certified, carry legal work permits and be fully insured. Licensing and certification do not guarantee quality but it is an important initial step in investigating your contractor.
The government supplies permits for renovation, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling. Do not let any work be initiated without proper its corresponding work permit. All completed work must be certified by an appropriate safety inspector.
All legitimate contractors will have extensive insurance coverage. Insurance offers protection to the contractor and workers and protects the homeowner from any resulting damages incurred during the course of the contract.
Institutional lenders such as savings and loans, insurance companies or commercial banks generally require licensed contractors to secure bonds for large jobs. Bonds are written to cover any project the contractor agrees to perform, but are usually not sufficient to cover multiple claims. While a bond does not ensure the financial or professional integrity or competency of a contractor, they are designed to protect you against any substandard work that does not meet with local building codes.
Keep an accurate record of all transactions related to your venture. It is critical to have detailed records if you must engage in legal proceedings. Pay by certified check and obtain a receipt for every payment made. All receipts should be signed and dated by the contractor.
Once you have commissioned a qualified contractor, it is advisable to make regular unannounced visits to the worksite to ensure the project is progressing agreeably. It is your legal right to have the work stopped or to withhold payment. It is also advisable to get second opinions on contentious issues.
Undertaking a home renovation project can be exciting and it is sometimes easy to overlook some of the initial considerations. Hiring a contractor for your renovation project will be much less intimidating by following these critically important points. Remember that you should always exercise extreme caution and always feel that you have made the right choice when hiring a contractor.If you are looking for a Dallas home remodeling company visit Texas-TLC.com today. We are comprised of a professional team representing the absolute best in residential Design-Build-Remodel and Restoration.Visit online the next time your considering a Dallas bathroom remodeling company or another type of addition or restoration.
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com
Author: Robert Bell