15 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

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Finding a qualified contractor for your home remodeling project can be daunting and confusing but it's not a difficult task. You can easily search the web or look in the yellow pages and find many home remodeling contractors listed in your area. But the questions are: Which one do you hire for your home remodeling project? Which one will perform quality work, charge a fair price, and get the job done on time?

By following these tips you will make the selection process easier and be better prepared to make an informed decision that best suites your needs.

1. To reduce the risk of hiring the wrong home contractor you should first do a little preparation yourself for the home remodeling project. Sketch out and write down what you want to get done. Provide a copy of this information to the prospective home remodeling contractor as this will help to minimize misunderstandings of requirements.

2. Visit home improvement centres such as The Home Depot, and look at materials expected to be used on your project. Make note of their costs for you to compare material costs proposed by prospective contractors.

3. When you start to call prospective contractors ask for references and previous work that you can visit.

4. Employ a contractor with an established business in your area. Local firms can be checked through references from past customers in your community. Local contractors are compelled to perform satisfactory work for their business to survive.

5. Contact your local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor meets all requirements.

6. Check the contractor with the government's Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau to ensure there is no adverse file on record.

7. Ask to see a copy of the contractor's certificate of insurance to ensure the contractor meets all specifications.

8. Make sure the contractor's insurance coverage meets all the minimum requirements.

9. Be sure that the contract between you and the contractor states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.

10. Make as small a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a large sum of money if the contractor fails to complete the job.

11. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be finished and what action you can take if it isn’t. Also remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.

12. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be hired.

13. Be sure that the contract specifies that the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.

14. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.

15. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the finished job.

Whether you’re planning an addition to your home for a growing family or simply getting new storm windows, finding a reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project. Finding a good contractor, someone you can trust to do a good job for a fair price and stand behind his or her work could be hard. If you do your homework and follow these tips, you will improve the odds of getting a contractor you will be happy with.

Canada Realty News Newsletter

February 2010

Julie D. Martin

Julie D. Martin

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Home Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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