Home repair, kitchen renovation, and improvement is a process you may not be familiar with until it becomes time to tackle a project on your home. All homeowners at some point will need to have some type of work done. Finding the right contractor to renovate your kitchen can be stressful, challenging, and sometimes a very pricey experience.
Home improvement fraud ranks as one of the top 5 complaints with the Attorney General’s Office year after year. Just being informed can protect you or people you know from being conned by a contractor. Asking the contractor the “right” questions gives you peace of mind that is priceless.
There’s a lot to learn about which products to use and what procedures best meet your individual needs. Because of this lack of knowledge, homeowners can easily be taken advantage of by people calling themselves home improvement contractors. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to know that you can rely on the contractor you choose to give you good advice about those products and procedures that may be new to you. Being able to trust your contractor with your vision may not always prove easy. The key is to find the right contractor for your renovation from the beginning. Determining the reliability, reputation, and experience of the contractor may take some time but will be time well spent!
Hiring an unlicensed contractor is inadvisable. When his bid comes under the others for your renovation you thrilled, but when the work is done you discover mediocre materials and shabby workmanship. Then of course the contractor is nowhere to be found, and you discover why;unlicensed. You also discover you can be held reliable for on-the-job injuries or insurance. Not complying with city or county codes and correcting problems are all your responsibility when not dealing with a licensed contractor. You can even be held for his illegal acts. Hiring an unlicensed contractor is a risky business, to say the least.
Licensed contractors, however, are subject to laws designed to protect both you and your investment against empty promises and careless construction.
In general, most contractors are competent, honest, hard-working, financially responsible, and licensed. First of all keep all your plans with accurate details for the contractor that will enable him to price out the work and cost. Always shop around and get at least three bids from licensed contractors. Ask to see the contractor’s license and make sure the bids have his license number on it. Check their standing with the State license board before you sign the contract or allow work to begin. Be sure to check the contractor’s references that you have gotten in writing. Call the people and see if they were satisfied with the work or drive out and examine their work. Get everything in writing with all changes to be signed by you. Understand what your signing and make sure everything you have requested be in the contract. No rushing on the signing of the contract especially if you are not sure about something on the contract.
Make frequent inspections of your project and have a final walkthrough. Pay directly to the contractor only.