For those of you who own or are planning to buy a house and are planning to hire a contractor to do some home improvements to your house in the near future, here are some tips from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
· Work only with licensed and insured contractors.
· Ask for references, and check them out.
· Get more than one estimate.
· Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.
· Get everything in writing:
o Total cost
o Detailed list of what the project includes
o Time schedule, guarantees, and/or warranties provided
o Payment schedule
o Never, ever sign a contract that includes blanks
Here are some additional suggestions from Technihouse Inspections, Inc. (www.technihouse.com).
· Do not pay the contractor until the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
· Have the work inspected by a certified home inspector.
· If it “sounds too good to be true”, or the price quoted is much lower than the other estimates you received, there is a reason for that.
Remember the contractors that are hired will be in your house and you will be living with them for a while.
Our personal tip to you is to always trust your instinct. Your instinct has probably never failed you, if anything; you have failed your instinct.