Remodeling nightmares are common in the home improvement industry.
We all have either read about unsuspecting homeowners being ripped off, know someone who has, or saw something on TV.
The fact is that it is a real problem, and the only way to protect yourself from shoddy work and bad contractors, is to do your homework before you hire one by accident.
You might have a major remodeling project on the horizon and you know that you need a contractor with experience. However, how do you find one that you can rely on? Here are a few tips.
Don't be afraid to ask your contractor the hard questions. Those who don't ask because they assumed the contractor would perform well, have found that this step could have saved them lots of trouble and loads of money. Prepare all of your questions before hand, and when your time comes to meet with the contractor, have them in front of you while you interview them.
Are they licensed?
If a contractor does not have the sense to get the proper license to work in the area you are looking to hire for, you should not even consider hiring them. These fly by night contractors can be found pleading their case in small claim courts or on Judge Judy, daily. Stay away from any contractor who does not have a valid license.
Find out about their complaint history
There are some local business affiliations like the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Protections that keep track of complaints from consumers doing business with contractors. Call these places and give them the name of the contractor you are looking to hire. Find out the complaint history and see if the contractor has resolved it. Ideally, you would like to pick someone with a clean history, but sometimes that is hard to do. Also, be sure to ask your contractor personally about their complaint history.
How To Hire A Contractor? - Details, it is all about the details
Get your estimate in writing and make sure that all the details about your job are written in there. If it is not written down, then the contractor does not have to deliver it. Just imagine if you went to court with the contractor, would their estimate and contract protect them or you?