Home repairs can be extremely expensive, and you should learn as much about a contractor as you can before hiring one. The following is a list of the basic steps to take in choosing a home repair contractor or company:

  • Seek recommendations and referrals. Talk to friends, family, and others for whom the contractor has done similar work.
  • Get quotes from at least three contractors.
  • Make sure the estimates are based on the same work so that you can make reasonable comparisons.
  • Get the names of your suppliers and ask if the contractor pays them in a timely manner.
  • Be wary of contractors working from PO boxes, private mailboxes, and suites rather than local business addresses.
  • Insist on receiving a full

You must be especially cautious if the contractor:

  • offers door-to-door services or comes to pick you up;
  • he happens to have leftover material from a recent job;
  • tells him that his work will be a “demonstration”;
  • offers you discounts if you get other customers;
  • offers you a price that is much higher or much lower than other quotes;
  • pressures you to make an immediate decision;
  • offers you exceptionally extensive warranties;
  • You can only be contacted by leaving messages on an answering machine;
  • You drive an unmarked truck, or your vehicles have out-of-state plates or
  • asks you to pay for the entire job in advance.

Just because a contractor is listed in the “Home Improvement” section of the yellow pages does not guarantee that they have a valid license or that their reputation is good.

How do I check the references provided by the contractor?

You should speak to some of the contractor’s clients. They can help you decide if such a contractor is right for you. You can ask them:

  • Were you satisfied with the project? Was it completed on time?
  • Did the contractor keep you informed of the progress of the project and any problems that arose during the project?
  • Did unexpected costs arise? If so, what were they?
  • Did the workers show up on time? Did they clean everything when the job was done?
  • Would you recommend the contractor?
  • Would you rehire the contractor?

Do I have to enter into a written contract with the contractor?

Yes. You should not allow a contractor to start work on your home until you have a signed written contract. Although the idea of ​​having an oral agreement and just “shaking hands” may be tempting, it is very difficult to enforce the terms of an oral contract in court in the event of a dispute.