Spring is prime time for home projects. Maybe spring fever has you dreaming of ways to spruce up your home, inside or outside. Or maybe you find yourself making some repairs after a spring storm.
Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial not to rush your search for a business to work on your home project. A trustworthy contractor can be the difference between a job well done and a job that leaves you hanging, and the importance of doing your homework on contractors can’t be overstated.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers Business Profiles at bbb.org on thousands of home contractors, showing a letter grade rating, how long a company has been in business, its history of any complaints and how they’ve been handled, and customer reviews. Consulting these profiles can save you a lot of work in your search.
It’s important to do some comparison shopping on the price of your work. Ask multiple companies – at least three, ideally – for bids based on the same requirements. Don’t automatically go with the lowest-priced bid. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and ask them about variations in pricing. BBB’s Request a Quote service can help facilitate this step in your search by letting you request quotes instantly from trustworthy, thoroughly vetted BBB Accredited Businesses via their online Business Profiles.
Consider these other tips when hiring contractors:
• Ask about the company’s insurance. Does it carry worker’s compensation, property damage and liability insurance? Ask for proof of insurance or for the name of an insurance agent you can call to verify the coverage.
• Ask whether the contractor is licensed for the type of work you need. Does the firm meet the bonding requirements of your town, county or state?
• Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed. The contractor should be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required.
• Ask the contractor to provide a lien waiver when the job is completed. A lien waiver is a statement that all suppliers and contractors have been paid for materials and labor.
• Ask for a contract and read it. Get any verbal promises in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start date and expected completion date.
• Don’t pay the entire amount due until the work is completed, and you are satisfied. Be careful if a contractor wants to be paid in full up front. In some cases, a contractor may need a down payment to cover materials. But the bulk of the money should not be due until the work is complete.
Finding a trustworthy contractor to work on your home may be an intensive process, but a job done right the first time can save you headaches and let you spend more time enjoying your home.
For assistance in researching home contractors, go to bbb.org or call 417-380-5074.