A home improvement project can very easily increase the value of your home. But before you get started, I’d like to share with you some tips with regards to dealing with home contractors.When you are looking for a home contractor make sure to get references and check them. Make sure that the contractor’s insurance, bonding, licenses and other credentials are current.
Narrow down your list to your favorite home contractors and ask if they had done any similar projects in the neighborhood. If you have a lot of money and plan on hiring a designer, this person will draw up a detailed design based on your needs, creative ideas and specifications. The designer will make the blueprint plans for the General Contractor. If you want to pay less, you can avoid having to hire an architect or a designer by hiring a company like “Classic Homes Remodeling” who feels that generating and providing blueprint plans are a part of the complete service to their client. Get a list of client references from your contractor. Visit the homes, see the work that the contractor has done and talk with these satisfied clients.
When you speak to a reference ask them these questions:
· How was the communication before and during your projects?
· Were you kept informed about the status of your home improvement project, of any problems that came up or of any changes that needed to be made?
· Were you satisfied with your contractor’s answers to your questions?
· Was your contractor willing to listen to your suggestions and input?
· Did they arrive at work on time every day, and did they clean up after themselves?
· Was the work done within the budget? Did you end up with costs that were outside of your original estimate? What were those extra costs?
· Ask if the project completed in a timely manner or were there delays?
· Would they hire this contractor again to do additional work?
· Would they recommend their contracting services to other home owners who are considering having a contracting project done?
You might get lucky and have one of the references let you stop by and see the completed work on their home to get a better idea of the accuracy of their project.
Hopefully you will be impressed with the work done and the openness of the reference. Choosing your home Remodeling Contractor and hiring the right Contractor for your project:
· Hire only licensed contractors and ask to see the license.
· Don’t hire the first contractor who comes along.
· Contractor doesn’t solicit door to door.
· Don’t rush into repairs, no matter how badly they’re needed.
· Contractor should discuss your project in detail before giving a quote.
· Get three bids, check references, and get a written contract.
· Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there were any complaints against the contractor
· Contractor doesn’t require me to obtain the building permits because they take care of that.
· Contractor doesn’t request cash only payments.
· Don’t pay cash, and don’t let the payments get ahead of the work.
· Contractor doesn’t require a large down payment. Don’t pay more than 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less, as a down payment.
· If a remodeling contractor comes into your home for an estimate and asks you for a large down payment…I would strongly consider, not giving them any money.
You may ask: Don’t they need money for labor and materials? If they needed your money to pay for labor and materials…they don’t have much of a business. If they don’t have the cash flow and money in their business to take care of your job, you should consider not doing business with them at all. Another thing you have to be aware of in regards to this issue is that if you do pay the contractor and he uses subcontractors or certain suppliers and he doesn’t pay them…they can put a lien on your house and you’ll be forced to pay them.·
Homeowners should look closely at all paperwork or contracts· Any properly prepared contract will include all the costs, not only for the General Contractor but also for all his/her subcontractors as well. In terms of actual payment, prepare to pay in increments. You obviously wouldn’t pay all the money up front (just in case he/she absconds with the money without finishing or even beginning the job), and it’s not feasible to pay the fee all at the end, since he/she would need the money to pay the subs on a weekly basis.