Q. How Do I Select A Contractor I Can Trust?
A. During the warm weather, homeowners often make summer the time to do some home improvement projects. Whether you are looking to redo your kitchen and bath, or replace your home’s roof or built a deck, it is essential that you find a contractor that you can trust.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to use the following checklist when choosing a home contractor:
Don’t give into sales pressure. If a contractor shows up to your door offering services, ask to take their business card or flyer. Do not let a person pressure you into signing up. Let them know you will contact them after consulting with your spouse or partner.
Be picky and have lots of options. Seek proposals from professional contractors. Homeowners should discuss offers in detail with each contractor and ask thorough questions. The lowest-priced contractor may not be the best. There’s a quote by John Ruskin which speaks to this … “If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better”
Make sure they are insured. Consumers should ask whether the company is insured against claims covering workers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents. Consumers should obtain the name of the insurance carrier and call to verify coverage.
Get everything in writing. Read and understand the contract before signing. Get all verbal promises in writing. Include start and completion dates in the contract.
Do your homework. As always, you can visit BBB’s website to look up an organization. You can also ask the contractor for local references, and get a chance to see the actual work done by the contractor. If the contractor does quality work, they should have no problem providing references.