Whether you are looking to have your home windows replaced, newsiding installed on your garage or a pool built for the summer months ahead,it’s always important to find a home contractor that you can trust. Better Business Bureau recommends following this smart shopperchecklist before choosing a contractor for your home.
In 2011, BBB received more than 6,000 complaints against generalcontractors, which was up 11% from the previous year. While there are manytrustworthy and reliable contractors out there, there are always thoseunscrupulous few that end up charging too much and doing too little…or nothingat all.
“You want a home contractor you can trust, so watch out for red flagsfrom those just looking to make a quick buck,” said Sandra Crozier-McKee,president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenays.
“Be especially wary of doing business with a contractor who solicitsbusiness door-to-door. This could mean that the contractor is not from a local,established business and is instead just passing through and trying to scaminnocent consumers.”
BBBadvises consumers to follow this smart shopper checklist before choosing a homecontractor:
Be picky and have lots of options. Seek at least three bidsfrom prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials andlabor needed to complete the project. Homeowners should discuss bids in detailwith each contractor and ask questions about variations in pricing. Thelowest-priced contractor may not be the best.
Make sure they are certified andinsured.Consumers should ask whether the company is insured against claims coveringworkers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability in case ofaccidents. Consumers should obtain the name of the insurance carrier and callto verify coverage. Ask whether the contractor meets licensing and bondingrequirements set by the state, county or city. Check with local authorities tofind out whether permits are needed before proceeding with the work. Thecontractor also should be aware of any required permits.
Get everything in writing. Ask whether thecontractor will provide a lien waiver upon completion of the job. A lien waiveris a statement by the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors havebeen paid for their work. Read and understand the contract before signing. Get allverbal promises in writing. Include start and completion dates in the contract.
Remember the rule of thirds andfollow it. Pay one third at the start of theproject, one third when work is 50 percent completed and one third aftercompletion.
BBBhas Business Reviews on more than 100,000 general contractors across NorthAmerica, available for free at www.bbb.org/search.
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About BetterBusiness Bureau: BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets andupholds high standards for fair and honest business behaviour. Every year, morethan 65 Million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews to help them findtrustworthy businesses across North America. Your local BBB serves consumersand businesses in Southern Alberta and the East Kootenays. For moreinformation, start with calgary.bbb.org.
Media: Please contact Christine Bassit,Communications and Marketing Coordinator of Better Business Bureau ServingSouthern Alberta and East Kootenays, with any questions at 403-531-8685 or byemail at email@example.com.