Do Your Homework Before Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

Home improvement

The business of home improvement has exploded in the last two years. According to a recent study by Houzz Inc, nearly half of the homeowners plan to take on some kind of project in the next year.

One out of four surveyors said they plan to hire professional renovators to finish their projects. Another 40 percent said they would like to do it themselves. And more than one-third of those surveyed said they plan to start a project in the first month of the year.

This is a promising sign for professionals. However, you need to do your homework before hiring a contractor. A number of things to look for include whether the contractor is licensed, insured, and if they have a record with the Better Business Bureau. It is also important to compare prices from multiple contractors to ensure you are getting the best deal.

The Axiom survey also found that nearly one-third of all surveyors planned to complete a home improvement project in the next twelve months. Some respondents said they were planning more complex projects than others. Likewise, more than one-third of surveyors were planning to begin a new project in March of the year.

Homeowners should also make sure they get a written contract before hiring a contractor. These contracts outline what the project will entail and who is responsible for different aspects of the construction project. Whether you are hiring a professional or doing it yourself, you want to have a good understanding of the scope of work, the parts and materials used, and the process of completing the project.

The scope of work also outlines what is not included. For example, you might not need a new front door. Instead, you may be able to repaint or retouch worn areas of the exterior. Similarly, you might not need a marble flooring upgrade.

You should also be aware that contractors can face civil fines for violating the Home Improvement Contract Law. They can also be sued for damages. If you are unhappy with the end results of your home improvement project, it is important to keep the facts straight. While there is no guarantee that you will win a legal dispute, it is a smart idea to have a professional represent you in court.

In addition to checking for licensing, you should also ask to see proof of insurance. Also, you should check for references from previous customers. By doing so, you can be confident that the project is a success.

Finally, you should be aware of any local building codes. Many municipalities require contractors to meet certain standards before they are allowed to begin working. Contact your local building codes office to learn more.

When choosing a contractor, be sure to ask questions such as whether they are licensed in your county and whether they have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Once you have decided on a contractor, be sure to establish a payment schedule. Sometimes, contractors may charge you an initial down payment and then incremental payments until the work is completed.