If you have ever done any home remodelling you know all about the headaches, stress and possible marital discourse that can result from the chaos. The last thing you need is an added “issue” with your contractor.
The following is a great list of suggestions from the League of California Homeowners that should help.
- Hire only licensed contractors! Check the contractor’s license number by calling the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) at (800) 321-2752. If you have Internet access, you can check out a license and visit the CSLB at: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
- Hire insured contractors! Always insist upon a certificate of insurance for general liability insurance. Remember top-notch contractors have insurance to protect you!
- Worker’s Comp Insurance: Calif. requires this form of insurance for any employer with one or more employees. If your contractor is “exempt” from workers comp, it means any workers on the job must belong to another sub-contractor who is insured. Uninsured workers can file damage claims against the homeowner if they are injured. Don’t take chances!
- Always get 3 customer references and review past work.
- Get three bids and use a written plan so contractors can compare apples to apples!
- Never start a job without a thorough written contract. Any work over $500 requires a contract. Be sure to have start and completion dates, progress payment schedule, and if your spending a lot of money, consider another $200 to have an attorney review your contract in for your protection! Never sign a contract under pressure. Insist upon 48 hours to study it.
- Payment: To start a job, never pay more than 10% down or $1,000 whichever is less! And never pay for work before it is done!
- Keep a job file, which includes receipts, permits, plans, and anything pertaining to your job.
- Insist upon a progress payment schedule that is spelled out in dollars and cents. Never pay cash!
- Also, hold back 10% of payments in order to make the “final payment” at the end of the job.