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Make sure you deal with people who actually live and work in your area. If you’re looking online, some websites do a good job of appearing to be local when they’re really not. Hire local contractors or contracting companies with local offices.
GET IT IN WRITING:
Some contractors will give you verbal estimates or scrawl notes on a paper that doesn’t identify who will do the work. Insist on written estimates on company letterhead.
Handyman Connection, a leading North American network of home repair and remodeling contractors, recently released guidelines to help people avoid the pitfalls of finding and hiring a contractor for home improvement projects.
Follow these tips to ensure you hire the right home
GET A GUARANTEE:
Ask for a written guarantee. Like the estimate, the guarantee is something you’ll want to get in writing. How long do they guarantee their work? A good rule of thumb is a guarantee of workmanship quality for a year.
BE WARY OF CASH:
If a contractor only accepts cash, then keep looking. You want contractors you can trust to do business above-board.
CHECK THE PAPERWORK:
Make sure all licensing and registration is valid and up-to-date. If they’re not, then they’re not the kind of people you want doing your home improvement projects.
If they’re a legitimate contractor, then they will offer you a business card. Besides the typical contact information, also look for their license number.
Get proof that contractors have third-party injury and property insurance. You don’t want to be on the hook if anything happens.
CHECK BOND STATUS:
Reject contractors and related trades people who aren’t bonded. Bonding protects you from being held financially or legally responsible for accidents.
Be concerned if contractors can’t provide references from previous customers. Are they hiding something?