Remodeling your home can be very rewarding, but it can also be expensive, time consuming, and disruptive. Chances are you'll need to hire professional help for at least part of your project. Keep these 6 tips in mind when hiring one:
Get a reference. Talk to friends or check with your local homebuilders association for reliable contractors. Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed.
Obtain multiple bids. Have at least 3 contractors compete for the work. Make sure they provide you with firm estimates. Ask about hourly rates for any extra work that may occur.
Check credentials. Make sure the contractor is licensed and registered with the state and has personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage insurance. Ask for copies to make sure the documents are current.
Get it in writing. Make sure that you have a detailed written agreement on the work that will be completed and the agreement allows you at least 3 business days to back out. Before signing, be sure you understand and agree to the terms and how payments will be made.
Pay in installments. Don't pay in advance and never pay in cash. You may be asked to make progress payments, but hold up to one-third of the contract amount until the work is completed to your satisfaction.
Keep a written record. These records should detail the progress of the work, payments made, approved changes, and other notes. Your records could help resolve confusion along the way.
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