Shoddy work does not make desirable home. That’s why you need to not only find the right contractor for your needs, but one who is both reliable and ready to get the job done right. Let’s look at a few tips for finding the perfect person for that task.
Tip Number One: Ask the Right Questions
When you’re interviewing contractors, don’t be afraid to make the hard inquiries. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a real-estate professional questions pertaining to his or her business, how are you going to trust them to do work on your home? A few questions you should have in your back pocket:
- What similar jobs have you done?
- Do you have references that I can contact?
- What is your license number and status?
Tip Number Two: Check Licenses and Complaint History
Following from the last question above, do your due diligence and research all of your prospective contractors – license, history, and any and all complaints and court judgments against them. You should be interviewing at least three different companies at this point. A few places you’ll definitely want to hit:
- Better Business Bureau, where you’ll be able to better learn about any negative history of complaints
- Disciplinary boards, where you can find out if any action has been taken against a given contractor
- Local court records, which will be able to tell you whether any legal action has been taken against a contractor.
Tip Number Three: Make Sure to Pull the Proper Permits
Permits are part and parcel of any renovation project. If a contractor suggests that you take on the job without permits in order to cut costs, this is not someone with whom you want to work. A few things to remember here:
- Doing any sort of renovation work without the proper permits is a legal violation which subjects you to fines
- Moreover, you’ll have to have the work inspected by city or county authorities to ensure that it’s up to code
- At sales time, unpermitted work can also cause issues. In other words, it costs more than it saves.
Tip Number Four: Don’t Pay Everything up Front
It’s recommended that you not pay more than 10 percent of the total job costs before it kicks off unless you’re hoping the contractor will use your funds to finish off another project. (And you don’t.) Instead, make sure that your signed contract includes both a payment schedule and payments for progress markers. Contracts should lay out everything that is expected from your contractor – and, of course, should be signed by both parties. A few more things to know:
- The job should be fully complete before the final payment is made
- Moreover, you should be completely satisfied with the work that has been done
- Finally, be certain that you are in possession of all lien receipts and releases before making the final payment.
Need further information? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of New Jersey’s most trusted real estate agents. Call Janine Rose at 908.229.6253 or e-mail her at janine(at)janinerose(dotted)com today!