Hiring a house remodeling contractor should be a transaction grounded
by a firm foundation of confidence. Come to the table prepared with
these strategies for staying away from the more frequent contractor scams.
Four personal references should be listed
Typically, a private contractor will have three references when
showing up for a conference. Asking for one more could be beneficial. A
fourth reference should be from somebody who had a problem with the
work. They will have called the contractor back to fix the problem. This
is the best way to figure out how a contractor really works. It will
help you know the contractor’s values.
Sometimes you need a backup
Typically, contractors are honest with you. It is still better to be
safe than sorry. If you live alone, have a friend on the premises when
you meet with the contractor so that it appears that somebody else live
there. Your friend will eventually leave and so will the contractor.
Lock the doors and windows after they leave.
The contractor might be on the Better Business Bureau for you
While it may be frequent sense to check a contractor’s record with
your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau, not everyone goes the
extra mile. Check them out with BBBs in surrounding states, particularly
if you seek home remodeling following a natural disaster.
Verify permit and bonded status
Before any contractor is hired, you need to verify the contractor’s
license, operating permits and bonds. FEMA devastation inspector Lanard
Cullins told Bankrate that customers should verify a contractor’s
documents through the secretary of state’s office in any state in which
they’re licensed. Checking with local authorities to ensure they have
complied with the law is also advisable.
Make sure you talk to an insurance agent in the property remodeling
business to discover out what you need for a contractor bond, states
Phae Howard. Howard is from the National Center for the Prevention of
Home Improvement Fraud currently.
Making sure insurance is there
Make sure you know how your contractor’s insurance is working before
you employ a contractor. Make sure your contractor won’t have any
problems with stolen equipment.
Sometimes contractors will ask for your insurance information and get
a hold of them for you. Cullins states this is a scam. Never give
individual insurance information or proceeds to any contractor.
Don’t purchase your own supplies
Hitting you up piecemeal for supplies (or supply money) at regular
intervals is a sign that your contractor is unprofessional. Sometimes
you’ll have to buy. Don’t give the contractor money directly then. Meet
them at the supply store, purchase what’s needed and make sure the
materials will be delivered to the site the day they’re needed.
Getting the place inspected
Make sure an inspector comes to check the project being done. Do this
after the permits have been pulled by the contractor. Using an
inspector before and after a project is also a good safeguard.
Play it safe with contracts
Unless you are sure about the details, including anything in the
project, do not sign the contract with a contractor. Before you sign the
contract, have it reviewed by a lawyer.
Beware A/C scams