1. Shop around...don’t rush into choosing a contractor.
2. Get references from friends, neighbors and family who have had similar work completed.
3. Get at least three written estimates for identical work so that you can easily compare bids.
4. Get references from the contractors so you can check on their work.
5. Call your local municipality and check if there have been any complaints against any of the companies under consideration.
6. After you have made a choice of contractor, don’t let work begin without a signed contract. Be sure to seriously consider having an attorney review prior to signing.
7. Be wary of signing a “letter or agreement” or even a contractor bid form—this may be a binding contract.
8. Be sure to specify what is to be done and when work is to be completed.
Make sure the contract contains:
9. Who will do the work?
10. When will the work be completed?
11. A detailed list of specific materials to be used.
12. The appliances and/or fixtures to be supplied
13. The dates for beginning and completing the job.
14. Monetary penalties for non-completion of project on time.
15. A provision for the clean-up of the premises.
16. Don’t sign a contract that reads “work as per agreement”.
17. Specify that contractor will obtain all necessary licenses and permits.
18. Specify contractor will meet all zoning regulations and building codes.
19. Be sure contractor will indemnify you in case of not meeting all regulations.
20. Be sure that the contract states that the contractor is responsible for any damages to your property.
21. If contractor guarantees the work, be sure it specifically states what is guaranteed and for how long.
22. Contract should state when payment is due. Never pay full price in advance; link payments
to certain stages of completion of the entire job.
23. Final payment and the signing of any completion certificate should only take place when
the work is completed to your satisfaction.
24. Make sure the contractor has adequate workman’s compensation insurance.
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