We love to build for ourselves, we have a tool game out there to solve the Home issue, however for some jobs we simply need an expert in the field. Unfortunately, a competent honest remodelling contractor is not easy to find. There are many reliable contractors, however there are a good number of “chiveros” with toolbox in hand, too. Here is what you should keep in mind before making a decision:
1. Avoid poor quality or shadow tactics:
The first thing you should do is make sure that you are not being scammed. Be careful with these warning signs:
The contractor …
- Provide credentials or references that can not be verified.
- Offer a special price, but only if you sign a contract today.
- Accepts only in cash, requires large deposits or wants all the cost in advance. NEGATIVE capital sin.
- He asks you to write a check in his (not in the name of the company).
- He will not provide a written contract or the complete offer.
- He refuses to request building permits, and asks you to take charge of obtaining them.
- He offers exceptionally long guarantees.
- Proposes to do most or all of the work on weekends and after business hours.
He gives you a low offer that sounds too good to be true.
2. Check the Contractor’s work:
When you meet with the contractors, ask each one to bring pictures or drawings of the finished works that are similar to their work. When possible, ask to visit a finished project. Contact the owners involved, prepare a questionnaire with the following questions and make them to the owners of the contractor’s references:
- What was the budget for the original construction?
- What was the final budget for the construction?
- Changes of Order, adjustments, etc.?
- How would you describe the quality of the work or project?
- Was the workplace clean and organized?
- Was the project finished on time?
- Did you file for the lien on your property?
- Would you hire again with this contractor?
Checking the behavior of a contractor through customers works both ways. Mouth-to-mouth recommendations have long been one of the most reliable means of finding competent contractors. Look for references from neighbors, friends, architects, colleagues and real estate agents. You can also contact the local contractors who have worked with the contractor in reference, along with the qualifications and comments, You can also use GOOGLE (hehe) and the different search engines of the Internet, Another option is to look for information in Agencies or organizations such as the list of DACO or Associations.
3. Check the paperwork:
Check and ensure that the contractors are licensed and insured (IMPORTANT), an accident in your residence or business and that there is no policy is significant headaches. A good professional must voluntarily provide all documentation. If you have any doubts, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs for its acronym DACO, check for complaints, complaints or claims. When comparing competitors’ offers, make sure everything is explained in detail, compare CHINA with CHINESE. If the competing contractor offers a price far below the other contractors, verify that this offering may not meet your expectations. Verify the scope of work (which covers the contract), the specified and detailed materials, warranties, references, projected completion dates, payment schedule and price.
4. Check the invoices:
When beginning to disburse money in case they are for the materials, ask the contractor if the supplier can be paid directly. Always pay with a check, never in cash. Adopting a Pay for Partial Certifications approach will help you, how is this? pay for the finished work phase, establish in advance with the contractor and in writing the phases involved in the project and how much would be the% to be paid out of the total of the joint contract with the completed phase. Be careful about paying for a job that has not ended. Before making the final payment, make a visual inspection of the entire project and make a punch list of any repair or work not completed. Put all change orders in writing; avoid verbal contracts (They do not help much).
If you want headaches, do not follow these recommendations, we know thousands of stories of unscrupulous contractors who viciously cheated their customers and no longer appear in the yellow pages.
Take care of your house, take care of your family, take care of your money …
Felix J. Padilla
President – A & F Contractors LLC.