Tips on Hiring a Contractor
10 Tips in shopping for a contractor
- Avoid work crews soliciting
- Avoid a contractor that drives
an unmarked van, or has out-of-state plates on his vehicles
and write down license numbers.
- Get names of contractors from
members of your church or other social organizations and
check with your local hardware store, or at a building
supply store you frequent.
- Be skeptical of a contractor
that pressures you for an immediate decision.
- If you are considering
financing the work through the contractor, have a lawyer
look it over before signing an agreement.
- Beware of contractors that
quotes a price that may be too cheap.
- Ask the contractor for
references of previous work done that you could look at.
- Ask the contractor for evidence
that he is licensed with the city, then call to verify that
this is true.
- The contractor should carry
general liability insurance, worker's compensation, vehicle
insurance and performance and completion bonds.
- Avoid paying in cash. Pay by
check or credit card.
10 Tips to Consider Before
Signing a Contract
- The contract should include a
set of specifications, a description of the work to be done
and the materials to be used. In some instances the city
will require a drawing to be included in the specifications.
- Make sure the contract
specifies that the contractor will pull all necessary
permits and will post them on your home prior to beginning
- The contract should state the
date work will begin and how long it will take to complete.
- The cost for the project should
be clearly stated, as well as a payment schedule, based on
work due. It is common practice to pay a portion of the
money when work begins and to hold a portion of the final
payment until all the work is completed.
- A good contractor should
include a plan to use change orders if you and/or the
contractor decides to make some changes from the original
work plan. Any change order should be signed by you and the
contractor, and clearly outlined what the changes will be
and how much they will affect the cost.
- Insist on copies of the
contractors liability insurance and any bonding they may
have. If the contractor has employees, have them provide you
with a copy of the certificate certifying that she carries
Worker's Compensation Insurance to protect you in the event
a worker is injured on your site.
- The contract should describe
all warranties for labor and materials used.
- The contract should advise you
that under state law you have three (3) days to back out of
the signed contract if you decide not to proceed.
- The contract should include the
contractor's name, name of the company and address. Both you
and the contractor should have a place to sign and date the
- If possible, have a lawyer
review the contract before signing.