Hiring A Contractor? Read This First!
Be careful when hiring unknown contractors and be especially alert of door-to-door salespeople who promise to speed up the permit process or ask for large cash deposits or advance payments in full.
- Hire contractors who are licensed by the state or your local county or both. Just because they put a tarp on your roof doesn’t mean you’re tied to them.
- Get the estimate and the contract in writing. Compare services and prices before making a final decision. Read the fine print. Some contractors charge a fee for a written estimate, which may be applied to the price of subsequent repairs they make.
- Most homeowners’ insurance won’t pay a claim from an unlicensed contractor who is injured on the job.
Here are some tips:
- Check references. Contractors should be willing to provide the names of previous customers. Call several former customers who had similar work done to make sure they were satisfied with the job. Check GOOGLE reviews!!! If the company has negative reviews or you can’t find them online DO NOT USE THEM.
- Ask for proof of insurance. Make sure the contractor carries general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. If the contractor is not insured, the homeowner may be liable for accidents that occur on the property.
- Insist on a written contract. A complete contract should clearly state all the tasks to be performed, all associated costs and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces. Make sure the contract clearly states who will apply for the necessary permits or licenses. Have a lawyer review the contract if substantial costs are involved, and keep a copy for your records.
- Get guarantees in writing. Any guarantees made by the contractor should be written into the contract. The guarantee should clearly state what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee and how long the guarantee is valid.
- Obtain a local building permit. Permits may be required for site work, demolition and reconstruction.
- Have work inspected. If excavation work is being performed, make sure a city or county building inspector examines the work before it is hidden from view to avoid problems in the future.
- Make final payments when the work is completed. Do not sign completion papers or make the final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction.
Questions? Need an estimate on your damage? Call 704-235-8303
Harmer Built, LLC
20+ Years of Experience – Licensed & Insured – Locally Owned & Operated