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HOW TO: Find a Trustworthy Home Remodeling Contractor

It’s not surprising to hear that housing trends point towards a large percentage of Americanhomeowners looking to improve and maximize their existing property investment versus buying a new home.

StageofLife.com has discovered 10 helpful tips on how to find a trustworthy home remodeling contractor to help ensure the right person/company is hired for your next home improvement project.

1. Does Your Contractor Have Proof of Insurance? Ask for a fax or copy of their current insurance policy. If the contractor can’t do this- stay away! Why? If there is an accident at your home, you are liable.

2. Did You Check References and See Photos of Past Projects? Ask for at least three references, and photos of recent projects. Ask especially for photos of projects similar to the one that you will be contracting for. You don’t want to hire an expert landscaper to redo the tile in your bathroom…

3. Does Your Contractor Accept Credit or Debit Cards? This is usually a good sign that the contractor is financially savvy and has a bank behind his business.

4. Manners and Appearance? Remember the contractor that you hire will be working in YOUR home. How does the contractor treat their tools and vehicle for example? The way a contractor treats his tools is a direct connection to how he’ll treat your home.

5. Clean Up Policy? Ask about the clean-up policy. Does the contractor plan on cleaning up at the end of every day, or wait until the project is complete? The more mess in your home, the more mess that gets tracked around your home.

6. Will the Contractor Put It In Writing? Is your contractor willing to put both his bid and the scope of work in writing? If not-walk away immediately!

7. Availability? Can the contractor get the work done on your timeline rather than his? What will happen if the job is not done by the end of the timeline? If you can’t seem to find a contractor who is willing to commit to completing the job by the end of the timeline, you may need to rethink your timeline.

8. Does Your Contractor Use “Subs?” It’s okay if the contractor subs work out to specific trades, such as electricians or plumbers; it shows that he wants the work done correctly. If you don’t want to spend the extra money on your contractor marking up the trade quotes, then you should prepare to project manage the remodel yourself, but know this may limit your option son contractors willing to work with you.

9. Quoting and Billing Procedure? Ask the contractor about his billing procedure. How much detail do you want? You should clarify that with your contractor upfront. Additionally, what is the payment/billing policy? Is money required upfront? If so, go back to #1 and #2 above to make sure you have the contractor’s references checked and have a copy of his contractor’s insurance.

10. Did Your Contractor Get the Permits? Ask your contractor to take care of the permits. Although the permits cost you money, the inspection process is meant to protect you from poor workmanship and to make sure that everything is being built to code.

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