Archive for Month: February 2016
Home Improvements Articles – Home Improvements Information
Next to slimy used car salesmen and shoddy Builders, the people I see taking advantage of consumers the most are remodeling contractors. Come to think about it, I’d say they are at the top of the list!
It doesn’t matter how large or small the job is, everyone can fall victim. I’ve seen homeowners doing $2500 jobs get taken advantage of just as quick as Clients doing a $157,000 project.
Here are a few fast and hard tips to keep you from getting hammered and nailed by a remodeling contractor.
If your state requires contractors to be licensed, ask for their license and follow up with the State to make sure their license is still current. Also ask for any complaints they may have against them.
Ask the contractors for a copy of their General Liability Insurance. Any reputable company will give you a copy. Follow up with a call to the company to make sure they actually have a policy and that it is current. Many a homeowner has tried to file a claim against bogus insurance policies. If the contractor doesn’t have General Liability Insurance, don’t use them. Period. If someone gets hurt at your home and the contractor does not have insurance, in many states you can be sued for any damages!
Ask for a list of recent and past references, including Clients who were not happy with the contractors work. If you deal with the general public enough, you’ll have unhappy clients. Everyone does. If the contractor tells you he doesn’t, either they have not been in business very long or they are lying.
Check with the BBB in your area to see if there have been any claims against the contractor. If so, see how they followed up. The BBB is not a guarantee against hiring a bad contractor, many times good ones are not listed with the BBB. Many of us who are self employed see the BBB as just another organization who makes money off of business’s through advertising.
A better organization to check is Angie’s List. You can find them at http://www.angieslist.com. Companies on Angies List cannot buy their way in or change the reviews of the consumers. Think of Angies List as a neighborhood referral list where a companies past customers grade their work. I’ve found them to be much more accurate and helpful than the BBB. The only downfall is they are not in every city yet.
Do not pay the contractor in cash! At the very least, pay them with a check. A credit card is even better, however some do not accept credit cards. That’s okay as long as they’ll take a check. If they refuse and only want cash, send them along their way. ‘Cash Only’ contractors are a red flag.
Pay the contractor in ‘draws’. Most contractors are use to getting paid as they go along. A draw payment is a partial payment. Normally the contractor will get paid something like 25% before they begin as …