Summertime home improvement season is upon us.  In last weeks blog "How to Win Big-Finding a Contractor,"  we outlined some steps you can take to find a reputable contractor and not a character like those featured on "How to Catch a Contractor."

The following steps will help ensure that the project goes as planned, is done correctly, and is finished on time.

Get everything in writing!

  • Get written estimates from several sources even if you already have a contractor in mind. This will give you an idea of what a fair price for the job should be. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so be wary of estimates that are markedly lower than the others. 
  • Be sure to get the estimate, details of the work, payment arrangements, warranty information, details for who is responsible for cleanup, and what work is being subcontracted, all in writing.  Reputable contractors like Artisan Electric will have no problem providing you with these things.

Verify License, Insurance and Permit

  • Always ask for a contractors license before hiring them to do any work. Reputable contractors are aware of the need for this information and do not have any problem supplying it.
  • Insurance documents are also something that should be requested. A contractor's insurance covers worker's compensation should a laborer get hurt, property damage, and personal liability in case of an accident.  A phone call to the carrier can confirm the coverage.
  • Permits are also important to check. Contractors must obtain permits before any work can begin. Most contractors will obtain the permits, but the client typically pays for them. This is something that should be detailed in the contract.

Arrange Payment Schedule

  • The most frequent storyline in "Catch a Contractor" was that the client paid for the work upfront in full and the contractor never finished the job.
  • Make sure there is a clear and documented payment arrangement. 
  • Pay with a check or credit card, so there is documentation of the payments.
  • Always get a receipt!

For more information on this, visit Better Business Bureau