How To Hire a Remodeling Contractor

Whether you're planning on selling a home and doing some remodeling first or buying and updating one, you'll save time and frustration if you keep in mind these helpful tips. 

Shop around and get at least three written estimates.
Don't just call the first contractor's name you see in an ad. That 20% off deal, might not be a good deal. Ask for and check references. If possible, look at jobs the contractor recently completed.
Check with your local chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary licenses (confirm them online) and insurance, as well as the ability to obtain permits. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved.

Read the contract carefully.
Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t.
Make sure the contract indemnifies you if work does not meet building codes or regulations. Confirm that they will get the necessary permits and sign-offs for final inspections. Be sure that the contract specifies who will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
Ensure that the materials meet your specifications.
Confirm that what they promised to supply is what they deliver.

Seal the deal.
Remember, you can often cancel a contract within three business days of signing it. Make a small down payment, so you won’t lose much if the contractor fails to complete the job.

Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work. 

Have the right expectations
Understand that most remodeling work will take longer than expected and may go over budget if problems show up.
Source: Realtor.org

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