Should I Trust My Contractor?

Backyard remodeling

Backyard Deck

It is very typical that during home remodeling projects the homeowner will at one time or another need to hire a contractor. You may need to hire a professional and experienced contractor in NJ to complete interior or exterior painting, build a backyard deck, install replacement windows, build an addition or any number of other types of projects. It can be rather difficult to figure out which contractors are trustworthy and which are not. There are some real con artists out there. How is a homeowner to know which contractor can be trusted? The trouble is unless you know – you just don’t know! But doing a little bit of research and homework will make it much more likely that you will find a contractor that can be trusted.

Does he come and look at the job site?

This may sound somewhat ridiculous, but if a contractor does not look at the site before offering a bid, they are likely not to be trusted. For one thing, you really want to work on a face-to-face basis with a contractor and not try to handle business over the phone. Plus it is highly unlikely that they can give an accurate bid of the work that needs to be done without seeing the work site to begin with. When he arrives, ask some particulars about his business, where he lives, his family and how many jobs he is working on presently.

Is he registered or licensed?

Each state has different licensing requirements and it is expected of contractors to follow them. Many states require that professional contractors obtain a license and other states require that a contractor obtain a license on the basis of each job; and some states do not require any type of license or registration. Find out in your area what types of licensing requirements are in place and then double check to make sure that the contractor has registered and is operating legally.

Is Insurance optional?

Contractors may or may not be required by states to have liability insurance; but you should require it if they are going to work in your home. If you hire an uninsured contractor, you are both being irresponsible. You will have to ask the contractor to present their certificate of insurance before you sign any contract with them. The contractor should at least have a general liability policy that will cover your home if anything becomes damaged.

Always Ask for References

Contractors should always be able to provide several references that will demonstrate their work. It is important that you contact each of the references so that you can hear for yourself what quality of work they have done. References can help you gain insight into the general business practices of the contractor; this is information that you will not be able to get anywhere else. Ask things like if they started and finished the job on schedule. Did the contractor show up to the job or did he hire a crew to do the work? Ask if they cleaned up behind their work; and if the quality of the work they completed was acceptable. You can also ask if it was overall a good experience and whether or not they would hire them for another home remodeling project.


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