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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

Great Tips for Hiring a Home Contractor

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I came across HometownSource.com that had some great tips from the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) concerning hiring a home contractor.

Check out your options. Seek at least three bids from prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials and labor needed to complete the project. Homeowners should discuss bids in detail with each contractor and ask questions about variations in pricing. The lowest bid may not be the best.

Make sure they are certified and insured. Consumers should ask whether the company is insured against claims covering workers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents. Consumers should obtain the name of the insurance carrier and call to verify coverage. Ask whether the contractor meets licensing and bonding requirements set by the state, county or city. Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed before proceeding with the work. The contractor also should be aware of any required permits.

Get everything in writing. Ask whether the contractor will provide a lien waiver upon completion of the job. A lien waiver is a statement by the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work. Read and understand the contract before signing. Get all verbal promises in writing. Include start and completion dates in the contract.

Remember the rule of thirds and follow it. Pay one third at the start of the project, one third when work is 50 percent completed and one third after completion.

This advice was important because the BBB reports that In 2011, the BBB received more than 6,000 complaints against general contractors, which was up 11% from the previous year.