If you’re thinking about building a deck, getting new windows, redoing the kitchen, repaving the driveway, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your home’s interior, it might makes sense to hire a pro rather than take on the job yourself. Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you big time. Choosing the wrong contractor can cost you more than money; it can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems.
Before you hire a contractor, get several estimates and ask plenty of questions, including:
How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Will my project require a permit? What types of insurance do you carry? And be sure to get a written contract. Contract requirements vary by state. Even if your state doesn’t require a written agreement, ask for one. It should be clear and concise and include the who, what, where, when, and cost of your project.
How can you tell if a contractor might not be reputable? You may not want to do business with someone who: knocks on your door for business, just happens to have materials left over from a previous job, pressures you for an immediate decision, only accepts cash, asks you to pay everything up-front, or asks you to get the required building permits.
Source: U.S. FTC: www.consumer.ftc.gov