This has been a tough winter for all of us in the Northeast, but the good news is that spring is just around the corner. Many people are planning a home remodeling project for the spring or summer. These projects may include a new backyard, kitchen or an addition for the expanding family. Whatever the project, you need to protect yourself from the financial risks and hazards associated with a home remodel project.
If you are planning on hiring a contractor or construction company to help you with your project, keep these tips in mind. Following these guidelines will help reduce your risk and increase your chances for a successful, and hopefully stress free, project.
1. Before you hire a contractor ask for references. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start.
2. Know what you want and have a specific list of products, including the brands. For example, if you want a furnace, be specific about the type and brand. There are many brands; some good and some not so good.
3. Always have a written contract with a competition date.
4. Go visit other homes on which the contractor has worked.
5. Some contractors may ask for100% of the payment upfront. Never do this. A small (10% to 15% up front is normal)
Bonus Tip: Make sure the contractor is insured. Ask for a certificate of insurance for general liability and workers compensation.
If you are increasing the value of your home as a result of the remodel, you will need to make adjustments in your homeowner’s insurance limits. Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the contractor or his work. If the contractor causes damage to your home, you will want their insurance to provide restoration.