How to Deal With Contractors
Author: John Mussi
Not everyone is aware of how to deal with contractors. Imagine
that your Home Improvement Loan has been granted. What do you do
next? Do you rush out and find the first available contractor
and offer them your cash? Not a good move.
Whether you're planning an addition for a growing family or
simply getting new double-glazed windows, finding a competent
and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and
satisfying home improvement project. Take your time to consider
all your options. Do not rush into any agreement that you may
Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That's why
it's important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on
it. Home improvement contractors often advertise in newspapers
or the Yellow Pages. However, don't consider an advert to be an
indication of the quality of a contractor's work. Your best bet
is to find a contractor that has been used successfully by
friends, family or colleagues. Get written estimates from
several firms. Don't automatically choose the lowest bidder.
Above all, be wary of contractors who will:
solicit door-to-door offer you discounts for finding other
just happens to have materials left over from a previous job
only accept cash payments
does not list a business number in the local telephone directory
pressure you for an immediate decision
offer exceptionally long guarantees
ask you to pay for the entire job up-front
Interview each contractor and ask:
How long have you been in business? How many projects like mine
have you completed?
Will my project require a permit?
May I have a list of references? Will you be using
subcontractors on this project?
What types of insurance do you carry?
Talk with some of the contractor's former customers and ask:
Can I visit your home to see the completed job?
Were you satisfied with the project?
Was it completed on time? Did workers show up on time?
Did they clean up after finishing the job?
Would you recommend the contractor? Would you use the contractor
You should not start any project without having a contact in
place. A contract spells out the, who, what, where, when and
cost of your project. The agreement should be clear, concise and
complete. Before you sign a contract, make sure it contains:
The contractor's name, address, phone nubmer
The payment schedule for the contractor
An estimated start and completion date
How change orders will be handled
A detailed list of all materials
Warranties covering materials and workmanship
What the contractor will and will not do
Keep all paperwork related to your project in one place. This
includes copies of the contract, change orders and
correspondence with your home improvement professionals. You
also might want to take photographs as the job progresses. These
records are especially important if you have problems with your
project — during or after construction.
Before you sign off and make the final payment check that:
All work meets the standards spelled out in the contract. You
have written warranties for materials and workmanship.
The job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess
materials, tools and equipment.
You have inspected and approved the completed work.
You may freely reprint this article provided the author's
biography remains intact:
About the author:
John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help UK
homeowners find the best available loans via the <a