Know what to ask
Asking contractors important questions makes all the difference, according to Roger Weymouth, broker/owner of Weymouth & Associates in Holt, MI, with 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. “Regarding the best questions to ask, I would say, ‘as many as you can think of,’” he says. For instance:
- Are you licensed and insured? (Make a copy of the license and insurance)
- Do you carry workman’s comp insurance? (Make a copy)
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you provide me a list of the last three projects you did with names and phone numbers of the people that hired you?
- Is this your best price?
Get it in writing
“I personally prefer to pay when the job is complete,” Weymouth advises. “Be careful of the contractor that wants money up front. Always make sure your agreement with the contractor is in writing,” he adds. “Everything should be written out and understood beforehand.”
“It’s very important to always include a project completion date in your contract, and what happens if the project isn’t finished by that date,” Weymouth continues. “For example, include wording such as ‘contractor to pay owner x amount each day thereafter completion date if project is not completed.”