Homeowners often have to hire a contractor to do wotk on a home. But who do you hire? And where do you look? Here are some tips that can help you avoid picking the wrong pro.
Get Multiple Bids
Remeber that you're the shopper here, so don't settle for just one bid. Check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure each contractor's license is active and in good standing. If one of the bids is noticeably low, watch out. That person may be cutting corner or not pulling necessary building permits.
Get It In Writing
Since a written contract protects you and the contractor, all agreements should be put in writing.
Specific Contracts are Golden
Make sure the contract includes everything that is agreed to, including complete cleanup and removal of debris and materials, along with special requests like saving lumber for firewood or saving certain materials or appliances.
Keep a Copy On Hand
Once you sign, both you and the contractor are bound by everything set down in the contract. Make sure to get a copy of the contract, and keep it for your records.
It's Okay to Update
Make sure to note any changes in writing on a change order, and include any price changes. After a change order is signed, it becomes part of the witten contract.
Check the Financial Terms
The contract should include the total price, when payments will be made, and whether there is a cancellation policy. You should expect to make a down payment on any home improvement job. That down payment should never exceed 10% of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
You'll probably need to hire a contractor to do work on your home in the near future. But who do you hire and where do you look? Here's some ways to find a pro and avoid problems down the line.
Contractors State License Board (CSLB)