12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

  1. Get at least three written estimates.
  2. Get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.
  3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
  5. Make as small a downpayment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
  6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
  7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
  8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do parts.
  9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet local building codes or regulations.
  10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
  11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.
  12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.

After all that, if you are looking for someone to help you resolve problems, visit the website for Maryland’s Attorney General.

© 2006 Susan Pruden

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One Response to 12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

  1. Hazel Owens says:

    I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to check that any contractor you hire has proper permits and insurance. If something goes wrong during the construction process, you don’t want to be stuck without insurance, and you don’t want to be faulted for not insuring that the contractor you hired wasn’t properly certified. I always make sure that any contractor I hire, remodeling or not, can pass the proper inspection so that we’ll be covered if something goes wrong.

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