How to Deal With Contractors

Not everyone is aware of how to deal with contractors. Imagine that your Home Improvement Loan has been granted. What do you do next? Do you rush out and find the first available contractor and offer them your cash? Not a good move.

Whether you're planning an addition for a growing family or simply getting new double-glazed windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project. Take your time to consider all your options. Do not rush into any agreement that you may later regret.

Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That's why it's important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement contractors often advertise in newspapers or the Yellow Pages. However, don't consider an advert to be an indication of the quality of a contractor's work. Your best bet is to find a contractor that has been used successfully by friends, family or colleagues. Get written estimates from several firms. Don't automatically choose the lowest bidder.

Above all, be wary of contractors who will:

solicit door-to-door

offer you discounts for finding other customers

just happens to have materials left over from a previous job

only accept cash payments

does not list a business number in the local telephone directory

pressure you for an immediate decision

offer exceptionally long guarantees

ask you to pay for the entire job up-front

Interview each contractor and ask:

How long have you been in business?

How many projects like mine have you completed?

Will my project require a permit?

May I have a list of references?

Will you be using subcontractors on this project?

What types of insurance do you carry?

Talk with some of the contractor's former customers and ask:

Can I visit your home to see the completed job?

Were you satisfied with the project?

Was it completed on time?

Did workers show up on time?

Did they clean up after finishing the job?

Would you recommend the contractor?

Would you use the contractor again?

You should not start any project without having a contract in place. A contract spells out the, who, what, where, when and cost of your project. The agreement should be clear, concise and complete. Before you sign a contract, make sure it contains:

The contractor's name, address, phone nubmer

The payment schedule for the contractor

An estimated start and completion date

How change orders will be handled

A detailed list of all materials

Warranties covering materials and workmanship

What the contractor will and will not do

Keep all paperwork related to your project in one place. This includes copies of the contract, change orders and correspondence with your home improvement professionals. You also might want to take photographs as the job progresses. These records are especially important if you have problems with your project - during or after construction.

Before you sign off and make the final payment check that:

All work meets the standards spelled out in the contract.

You have written warranties for materials and workmanship.

The job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess materials, tools and equipment.

You have inspected and approved the completed work.

You may freely reprint this article provided the author's biography remains intact:

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help UK homeowners find the best available loans via the http://www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.


Free Quran in All Languages

Free Tafsir Books

Where?s the Care Label for my New Bedspread?

I love bedspreads, don't you? A comforter can be used... Read More

Repairing Your Own Machine Components

Many industrial concerns have workshops of their own. For the... Read More

Types of Table Saws

A table saw is one of the most popular pieces... Read More

Basement Dehumidifiers

Basements are the most common location for dehumidifiers. Because of... Read More

Ladder Décor ? the Possibilities Are Endless

With a little bit of creativity and some imagination you... Read More

Add Value To Your Home With A Home Improvement Loan

Buying a home is a big and important investment for... Read More

If You Think Mold and Mildew Hibernate During The Winter, Think Again!

If You Think Mold and Mildew Hibernate During The Winter,... Read More

Installing a Home Theater System

Thinking about installing a home theater system? You're not alone.... Read More

Interconnects for Your Audio/Video System - Choosing The Proper Cables

Research & Development I began designing audio and video interconnect... Read More

From Toss Out to Sensational Keeper - Lamp Re-Make

When the old lamp from my children's room was turning... Read More

Home Furnishings and Shelving

Its spring time and that means we start working on... Read More

Why Is Your House Cold?

How many of you have experienced this situation? As the... Read More

Add Sizzle to Your Surroundings

Is your home décor lacking that extra something that spells... Read More

Strongly Scented Candles: Use your mouth, nose and eyes to tell

Triple scented, heavily scented, strongly scented - these are all... Read More

Sump Pump Installation for Do-It-Yourselfers

According to recent surveys, over 85% of all homes with... Read More

Asphalt Paving Driveway Maintenance Tips

Asphalt paving or Hot Mix Asphalt is typically what one... Read More

Home Inspection Basics

The Home InspectorWhen you think about it, it is a... Read More

Lighter Fluid: The Best Label and Scuff Mark Remover

The first time my husband saw me scrubbing the black... Read More

Use Ladders Safely

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that each year more... Read More

Pre-Fabricated Steel Buildings

More and more construction is being done with steel in... Read More

Hiring a Waterproofing Contractor

According to the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair... Read More

A Fabric Hammock is Comfortable Casual Chic

If you are looking for unique seating inside or out,... Read More

The Bathroom - The Forgotten Area Of Your Home?

The bathroom in your home is the one room that... Read More

Physiological Response to Window Coverings

Nothing soothes the brain like Mother Nature, whose intrinsic scenery... Read More

Tips and Suggestions To Help You Plan and Build Your Own Log Home

Log Cabin Homes: They have come a long way. Here... Read More