Spring is the season when home improvement and home improvement scammers also come into bloom. It’s always a good idea to check out a home improvement contractor you’re planning to hire. Get personal references, check the Better Business Bureau and do what you can to make sure the person or company you hire has someone you trust, to vouch for them.
Real estate brokers, home improvements stores may be good resources if friends, neighbors and family don’t have recommendations. You want to do all you can to avoid troubles, but depending on the size of the project, this isn’t always easy. Hiring a person with a good track record can go a long way!
Once you hire a contractor, here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- It is customary to remit payment for the work in stages. Normally, a contractor will ask for a percentage down in order to purchase material for the project. Don’t make a final payment if the work isn’t done to your liking and inspected/approved by any local building department/agencies if necessary.
- Confirm that the contractor has paid any sub-contractors. Otherwise, these folks can file a lien against your house – even if you’ve paid the general contractor. Make sure that the contractor submits proof that all others have been paid.
- If you’re worried about a general contractor paying sub-contractors, you may be better off exercising an option to pay them directly.
Before starting a remodeling project, order a copy of our book entitled,
A Lawyer’s Guide to Home Renovations, by John Goodman, Esq., to learn how to avoid legal issues.