HOW TO

Shop around for the right company.

  • Get at least three written estimates.
  • Ask for and check references. If possible, look at jobs the contractor recently completed.
  • Check with your local chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  • Be sure that the contractor has the necessary licenses and insurance, as well as the ability to obtain permits.
  • Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved.

Read the contract carefully.

  • Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
  • Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t.
  • Make sure the contract indemnifies you if work does not meet building codes or regulations.
  • Be sure that the contract specifies who will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
  • Ensure that the materials meet your specifications.

Seal the deal.

  • Remember that you can often cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
  • Make a small down payment so you won’t lose much if the contractor fails to complete the job.
  • Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.