Waldron & Schneider

Working with Contractors on Home Improvement and Repairs

People often hire contractors for large home improvement projects and/or repairs.  Home remodels are typically challenging on their own, and dealing with an insurance loss due to some accident or natural disaster can be especially difficult.  Whether you are putting in your dream kitchen, adding an outside patio, or dealing with damage from a water leak, it is important to understand how contractors fit into your overall plan. 

 

PART 1 – Vetting the contractors

 

How do you pick a contractor?  Is it someone you know, did they do a project for your friend or neighbor, have you seen the company logo on a sign or vehicle in your neighborhood, have you been by their show room floor, is it a recommended contractor from a home improvement store, are you using the internet, did they leave a flier on your door?  No matter how you get connected with a potential contractor, it is important to vet the contractor as best as possible.

 

  1. Ask for references, and follow-up with references (make sure the contractor has experience in doing the work you are planning).
  2. Confirm how long the contractor has been in business (longevity is something to consider, but you want to ensure that the contractor is working under the same business. Contractors with issues, may shut down one entity and start a new entity, so confirm that this business has longevity, not just years of experience).
  3. Determine how the business is set up (is the contractor incorporated, is there an assumed name?). This is interrelated with how long the contractor has been in business, and you want to ensure the contractor is in good standing.
  4. Ask for insurance, and confirm insurance coverage (this should be in writing, and you can include insurance provisions in your contract to ensure the best protection is available).
  5. Check available online reviews (if there are online reviews, check for authenticity – some websites may allow the contractor to write their own reviews; if there is a negative review – ask the contractor about it, sometimes customers can be unreasonable even after a contractor bends over backwards).

 

General Comment

 

Don’t sign anything yet!  Once you have found a contractor that you believe is qualified and competent to do the project you have planned, it is important to have a good agreement in place.  Our next topic will deal with common types of contracts that are used for home improvements and repairs.

 

The legal information in this blog entry is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  Further, nothing contained in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader.  This article and website are made available by Waldron & Schneider for educational purposes only and to give basic information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Waldron & Schneider. The article and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. For more information or questions you can contact us and one of our attorneys will be in touch soon.

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