What to Know Before Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

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Millions of dollars are spent every year by consumers on home improvement projects.   Before investing thousands of dollars on your next home improvement project, there are some key items to keep in mind before selecting a contractor.  First, think about the project and specific design you want created that can be accomplished within your budget.  Be thoughtful as to what types of materials and quality of products you wish to incorporate into the plan.  Clearly express the goal that is to be accomplished with the home improvement project.  Is this project being completed for aesthetic reasons, improve quality of living areas, increase value of property, upgrade to current code laws, or all of these reasons and more?  Finally, the most important part of the home renovation process is selecting a professional contractor that will provide quality craftsmanship within your budget.

Before hiring a contractor, make certain that the professionals you hire are registered and current with the state.   If the contractor you hire is not registered with the state, you will not be protected by the Home Improvement Contractor Law.  A registered contractor must display their name along with the state six digit registration number on all advertisements, contracts, and permits.  Verify that the registration is valid and has not expired and that the company you select is fully insured.  Many fly-by-night contractors will provide you with lower pricing, lower quality products, no insurance and not be a legally registered entity.  Don’t be fooled by lower pricing, the project may cost you more in the long run.

Ask the contractor to provide you with references of jobs that they have completed.  Contact other homeowners who have used that company and ask about their experience.  Check if the contractor has a complaint history with Consumer Affairs, the Better Business Bureau, or the Attorney General’s Office.

Before signing any contracts, make certain that the scope of the project and the pricing is clear.  Look for the following key items in the contract:

  • Total cost of the project
  • A payment schedule
  • A provision for changes or extras to the original scope of work
  • Start and completion dates
  • List of what is included and excluded from the contract price
  • Building permit is obtained by contractor
  • Copy of the contractor’s insurance
  • State registration number

 

 If you would like to meet with one or our professional staff members and obtain a free quote on your next project, please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 508.758.6738.  Fisher & Rocha, Inc. is fully licensed, insured, and has proudly been serving the Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Fairhaven & South Dartmouth areas for over 49 years.