BE INFORMED

Adding a room, renovating a kitchen, or doing repairs? Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you. A good ad isn’t proof a contractor does quality work. Find out for yourself. Check with friends, neighbors, or co-workers who’ve had improvement work done, and check out a contractor’s reputation on online rating sites you trust. Get written estimates from several firms, keeping in mind the lowest bidder may not be the best choice. Also important: know the signs of a scam.

 

Do Your Research

  • Check with friends, neighbors, or co-workers who’ve used a contractor

 

  • Look at sites you trust that post ratings and reviews

 

  • Find out how long they’ve been in business

 

  • Check for qualifications, like licensing

 

Before You Hire a Contractor

 

  • Get Estimates

Once you’ve narrowed your options, get written estimates from several firms. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Ask for an explanation to see if there’s a reason for the difference in price.

 

  • Ask Questions

 

How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year?

 

Will my project require a permit?

 

May I have a list of references?

 

What types of insurance do you carry?

 

Contractors should have:

  • personal liability

  • worker’s compensation

  • property damage coverage

 

Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they’re current, or you could be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.