5 Tips for Dealing with Home Repair Contractors
Home repair contractors range from honest and hardworking … to unreliable and dishonest. Although it would not be fair to make a sweeping generalization, it is safe to say that any time you decide to invest in costly repairs it is wise to proceed with caution. Otherwise, you might end up with people who, instead of saving you money and protecting your investment in your home, would plunge you into a financial hole, leaving you full of regret.
Here are 5 tips for dealing with home repair contractors to ensure satisfactory services rendered:
- Verify Legitimacy
Before anything else, always check the legitimacy of the contractors you plan to hire. Do they have the appropriate license to contract for home repairs in your state? This is crucial because not all states have the same laws and regulations for various trades and businesses.
- Do a Background Check
Nearly everything can be found online these days, including consumer feedback about goods and service providers. Of course, you’ll need to sift through to identify valid complaints and separate the “real” positive recommendations from the self-serving press releases. Here are a few things to look for:
- transparency about costs and/or billing practices
- professional courtesy or ethics
- capability and efficiency; resources available such as manpower
- willingness to correct any mistakes or misunderstandings amicably
- Have a Plan
You, as the contracting party, are entitled to have a plan for home repair that you want followed. Some contractors will want to muscle-in and impose their ideas on you. But no matter how experienced a contractor may be, it is always you who should have the last say. After all, it is your home and you are the one who will be paying for the services. Therefore, your suggestions and decisions are just as valid as that of the contractors. Keep in mind that a professional will welcome discussions and suggestions, and will take time to explain the needed repair work.
- Get Everything in Black and White
Avoid verbal agreements. Everything that you and the contractors agree upon should be in writing. Supporting illustrations or photographs, when available, should also be part of any agreements. This is for mutual protection, so do not hesitate to get this done before starting the home repairs.
- Pay for Services Promptly
Trust is a two way street! Make sure that you have reserved or allocated more than enough funds for the repairs. The contractors are running a business. It is important to pay invoices on time, in the amount and terms agreed upon.