After doing a little homework on your top choices, the next step is to do a background check on the contractors. The Better Business Bureau is still a good reference site but another important, and often overlooked, source is the Department of Consumer Protection in your state. This is where you can verify that the contractor is licensed. It is crucial to get a licensed contractor, as this will protect you moving forward should something go wrong during the project.
Now that you have selected your contractor, get a contract! Everything should be detailed out in the contract. This is your only legal recourse if there is a dispute on what is, or was, being done. For instance, the Department of Consumer Protection will require that you have a contract with a licensed contractor. All contractors pay a yearly fee to the Department of Consumer Protection which has a portion set aside for the general fund which homeowners can recover damages for a project that went bad. Clarity in the contract is very important. Ask for revisions and make sure everything is outlined so there are no questions about what is being done.
Doing your homework and checking references is always the best way to approach a home remodeling project. Advertisements do not accurately tell you what you need to know about your contractor. Ask for client references, check the internet, check your local BBB and most importantly, check with your state’s Department of Consumer Protection. If there are any negative reports on their record, ask for a copy of the report and you will have more insight into their competency. As with many industries that work with the public, you cannot please everyone 100% of the time, but if there is a theme in the negative report, take that as a warning.
For more information on how to select the right contractor, or for a free consultation, please give Shaw Remodeling a call at 860.434.2004. We would be happy to sit with you and discuss any questions you may have as well as the many options there are available to you.