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Things To Remember When Hiring A Contractor

Oct 28, 2007
Whether you are looking to remodel your home or rebuild a brand new one, you are going to need to hire a contractor for the projector. When you begin your search for one, you will need to first look if they are licensed, bonded and insured. That is the number one mistake that any homeowner can make when hiring a contractor. If you don't check and they don't have none of the above, you can find yourself in a situation that you don't want to be in.

For instance, if the contractor you hired is licensed, but doesn't have insurance, anything that goes wrong - damage wise - will have to come out of your pocket. You can try to sue the contractor, but likely he won't have the money to pay you, so it would be an endless battle for money. Just stay on the safe side and check that they are licensed and insured before hiring any contractor.

You should also remember to check out your contractor's license before hiring them. See if they have a portfolio of other projects that they've done and see if they have extensive experience and talent. If they don't have a visual portfolio, check with their references. By talking with their previous clients, you can ask questions that you wouldn't expect the contractor to answer truthfully.

Another thing to remember when hiring a contractor is to discuss the rates and the entire project before signing contracts. You need to know what you will be paying before the project begins. Any misunderstandings with the pay rates can result in legal battles and slow down your process of completing your project. You should try everything possible to avoid anything that can go wrong.

Now once you have found out that your contractor has a license, don't take their word for it. Take down the license number and state that it's registered in - make sure it is your state - then look it up. You can easily do so online or by calling the state license board. They also have a web site, so make sure to check it out.

Before you actually hire any contractor, you should interview them along with a couple of others in your area. This way you can compare their rates and skills.

When you are sure of your pick of contractors, you need to sign a disclosure statement with the contractor. This is a notice to customer and is required before work begins. The statement will protect you from the contractor making any changes in the agreement between everyone involved.

You should also make sure that you learn all you can about permits. Different permits are needed for different things, such as electrical, building and manufactured/mobile home permits. It's for your safety and will ensure that all building codes are applied to your home during and after construction.

How can you know if your contractor is truly legit? Here are some warning signs to look out for:

* Has a special offer only if you sign today
* Only accepts cash
* Doesn't provide accurate references and credentials
* Doesn't provide a written contract or complete bid
* Offers exceptionally long warranties
* Wants to complete work on weekends and after hours
* Gives you an offer that's "too good to be true"
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