You have finally decided to give your home a makeover. Everyone in your lane has been getting their homes renovated so you think it is time you did too. Whether you hire a contractor for exterior painting or whether you get them for kitchen and bathroom remodeling, there are some rules you need to bear in mind before you get your house worked upon.
Ask your contractor to provide estimates on company letterhead
This is necessary to outline any and all jobs that need to be undertaken. The letterhead should bear the name of the company and business address. The use of a letterhead shows that you are working with a professional contractor from an established business.
One of the ways you can spot a disreputable contractor is that they won’t be listed as a business in the local telephone directory. Ask them for a proper business card, too.
Get written guarantees from your contractor
You should not trust a contractor who gives you unbelievably long guarantees such as ‘more than five years’. Get the guarantee in writing.
The guarantee should clearly state items covered under guarantee, the party who will be responsible for the guarantee and what will be taken care of beyond the guarantee. Sometimes a contractor might say that a system comes with a guarantee for its lifetime. He might mean that should any manufacturing faults arise, the manufacturer will take care of them.
A labor warranty will ensure that should there be any faults in the workmanship, your contractor should take care of it without any expense. The guarantee should be for at least a year from the date of completion.
Ask for proof of insurance
Check if your contractor has general liability and worker’s compensation insurance otherwise in case of any accidents on your property because you will be liable.
Check if your contractor is listed with the Better Business Bureau
After selecting a contractor, you can call up the Better Business Bureau. If the contractor is registered, the Better Business Bureau will pull up its credit ratings and complaint history for the last three years. You should also call the licensing agency for home improvement contractors in your area to see if your contractor has a valid license.
Don’t go with what the contractor says, verify it
If you are approached by a door-to-door contractor who claims he has done work for your neighbors or acquaintances, the Better Business Bureau recommends you to ask them for references and contact numbers from their last three clients who had the same job as yours.