The seasons are changing, and so are many people’s minds when it comes to the “look” of their homes. Many homeowners are currently reevaluating their homes to see if there is room for improvement. And, to help you along the way, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has tips and advice on what you should know before you hire someone to do the job.
With cooler weather and the holidays right around the corner, you might be looking for ways to improve your home for your lifestyle – whether that be making more space in your kitchen and adding additional cabinets, or remodeling the bathroom for that spa-like feel to take warm baths on those colder nights. But, it’s important for you to do your homework before signing along the dotted line of a contractor’s agreement.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry reminds homeowners to beware of unscrupulous people posing as professionals. Be especially aware of those who con people to pay both the contractor and subcontractor – when they should only be paying the contractor.
To avoid such exploitation, read the following “Do” and “Don’t” list for tips to consider when looking for an experienced professional to do remodeling work in your home.
In addition, check with the Consumer Affairs Office and/or the Better Business Bureau to ensure the absence of any adverse files on record for the contractor.
People who do not do thorough research prior to hiring a contractor may, unfortunately, find themselves in bad situations. That is why it is so important to be educated before you have work done in your home. The home is your place of refuge, your sanctuary, and that means you have to make sure those who handle it, handle it with care.
When Hiring a Professional…
- Do compile a list of candidates. Ask your neighbors if they have any references and do your research online to put together a list of professionals. Put them all together in a list and when you start making inquiring phone calls, ask questions about their licensing/insurance, experience, references, contracting requirements, and company procedures and pricing.
- Do ask for a portfolio of work. You won’t know one’s quality of work until you see it with your own eyes. Ask the candidate if you can see photographs of some past work he or she has done, similar to the requests you are asking for in your home. Better yet, take it a step further and see if there are any references in the neighborhood who are willing to invite you into their home to see the work for yourself.
- Don’t move forward with a project without references. If you speak with a professional who does not have references or refuses to give you references that is usually not a good sign. Any experienced professional should be able to provide you with a list of people for whom they have done work in recent months. If not, testimonials should be shared. You want to be sure you choose someone who has had a good reputation.
- Don’t make verbal agreements. Once you’ve chosen someone you feel comfortable with, you will need to work with them to set a budget for your project. This will allow them to collaborate with you to develop plans and specifications. Don’t move forward with any work on your home until you’ve signed a written contract that you understand and have agreed with, and that has the contractor’s name, address, and phone and license numbers, if applicable. It should also include detailed information about the work being done.