Since many everyday homeowners are a little clueless when it comes to construction, they trust in whatever supposed expert they hire, accepting everything they say as truth. Sadly, many contractors take advantage of this and perform unneeded work on a house just to bring the prices up. Fully research whoever you are hiring, and try to employ a contractor who has a good reputation and legitimate client references you can verify. |
As tempting as it is to save money on an already expensive construction job, try to refrain from hiring whoever offers the lowest price. Often times, you get what you pay for; find out why the prices are so low. Contractors need to cover various expenses to stay legal, such as liability insurance and taxes. Some providers cut corners to offer a lower price and cause the entire job to be riskier and also illegal in the process. In this case, it pays off to spend more money on a quality contractor rather than a discounted one.
A good warning sign to stay away is when whoever you hire asks for a down payment of half the cost of the job. Usually about 5% - 20% down is all they will need to get a job started, unless you are ordering some sort of material that is extremely expensive. If you are paying more than 20% down, get something in writing that states where exactly all the money is going. The contractor will not need all of the money for the materials up front if he has proper accounts set up with suppliers, as reputable builders always do.
Reliable contractors should be able to provide you with proof of licensing or bonding, liability insurance, and Workmen’s Compensation. You can check with the Better Business Bureau to look for any past complaints against the company, and also ask for a handful of references from suppliers or other companies that have worked with your contractor. Another task homeowners assume is taken care of is whether the builder has the proper zoning permits to do the construction. This small detail can sometimes be overlooked but will cause big problems later.
It is too easy to be taken advantage of by a dishonest contractor. Do not hesitate to double check all of the builder’s credentials and references, and make sure you have a written breakdown of all costs and the scheduled completion date. Never assume that who you hire will be honest until you are sure of their intentions.
In New York, contractors can be a challenge to find. It is important to choose the right one for you using the yodle website. For more information, visit http://local.yodle.com.
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