Building a new home, or remodeling your present home is a major investment. As you begin planning to build or improve your home there are important steps you should take to ensure that your investment is a wise one and that you are protected from loss or disappointment.
Get the names of contractors from:
- Friends or neighbors who have had satisfactory work done.
- People at local home improvement centers, builder shows or open houses.
- Local Yellow Pages list licensed builders who do business in your community.
- Local homebuilders association. If the association is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders, all members must be licensed by the state in order to be included on their roster.
- Get references from the contractors you are considering.
- Ask for the name and address of previous customers. Check with those people who have had work done and ask if it was satisfactory.
- Be sure the contractor has a permanent business location and telephone number.
- Check the contractors credit reputation with local banks or suppliers.
Get estimates from different contractors to compare prices. Remember the cost of materials and quality
of materials will affect the bid. A low bid based on inferior materials may not be any bargain, so consider more than the price alone.
Get it in Writing
- When you have selected a contractor, get all agreements in writing.
- Make sure that you read all documents carefully.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for any modifications before you sign the contract.
Paying the Contractor
- Never pay for the entire job in advance.
- Make a deposit when work begins. Each contractor will specify a different deposit amount. Make sure you know that amount up front.
- Pay by check to the company name and ALWAYS get a receipt.