9 Tips for Selecting a Good Contractor

Not everyone can fix plumbing, repair a broken window or even replace carpeting and sheetrock work. Very few know that to install an air conditioner or heat pump takes a licensed contractor, and a building permit is required. Taking these types of things into consideration, you need to select a good contractor who is dependable and will get the work done professionally without costing you both legs and arms.

Tips to selecting a good contractor is a guide to follow, when the time comes for you to hire a contractor to get a much-needed item fixed or installed.

  1. The better business bureau is not going to help much, these days people do not file with them for contractor complaints. Each state now has a contractor’s board. This can be accessed online to review contractors in your area.

  2. Require the contractor you hire to show you his license to work in the state you live in. Many contractors are from out of the area working in your state temporarily. This is great, until you have a problem with their work. Be sure to check out the contractor and verify any information that they give you.

  3. Ask the contractor for references. You are hiring someone to do a job for you. It is just like you being hired to work, ask for references and job history. If they cannot give you 5 references of previous work, this should give you a red flag and something to stop and consider.

  4. Building permits are required for a number of installations and repairs to a person’s home. The contractor that you hire should be aware of these regulations. If the contractor attempts to convince you that a permit is not needed the contractor may be hiding the truth. If your home was to burn down because of a short or faulty wiring that a contractor installed, your insurance company will verify the building permit, if there is none, you will not get a settlement. Check out this post on inspections and permits to learn more about them.

  5. You have the right to know the names of each worker that will be working on the crew that you hire. Obtaining the Supervisor or manager name will be most beneficial to you should problems arise.

  6. Do not be afraid to ask if any of the workers have a police record. You will not want a person that has abused children around your kids, nor would you want a person in your home that you could not trust your possessions with.

  7. When the state requires a contractor to be licensed, bonded and insured it is to protect the consumer. If a contractor starts and never finishes the job in a timely manner, you can file a complaint with their bonding agency. A bond is to insure that the work is completed. Insurance is to insure the contractor in case of liability issues. A license is obtain to show their knowledge in the field of their work. Ask for copies of each of these items before signing any contract.

  8. When you prepare to sign the contract, beware of pre-payments. Many contractors will state that they require fifty to 100% down payment before the work begins. A down payment is fine. But never pre-pay the full amount upfront, you may never see the contractor again.

  9. Some states allow a contractor to work without a license, providing the dollar amount of the work is not more than $700. If this is the case with your state, then before hiring your contractor be sure to get in writing a guarantee and warranty of their work and performance.
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