10 tips for choosing a contractor - AmericaNowNews.com

10 tips to choose a contractor

When disaster strikes and your home or business needs major repairs, it's easy to get scammed by unscrupulous contractors. Here are some tips for taking the right steps to hire one you can trust.

"You want to make sure they're insured," says Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau. "And the contractor should give that to you. Then you call the insurance company."

The company should be listed with the state's Board of Contractors. If bad storms happen in your area, many times out-of-state contractors will come in to help with repairs.

"They need to have the very same licensing, the very same proficiency licensing that [in-state] people do," he said.

The BBB says be extremely wary of people who ask for all the money up front. Gallagher says you don't want to do business with them.

Spellman says you should hire a company that has a license no matter the price of the job.

The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation also gave these tips.

Before hiring a contractor, consumers should observe the following Top 10 Tips:

  1. Hire only licensed contractors.
  2. Check for a valid contractor license.
  3. Get three references and review past work.
  4. Get at least three bids.
  5. Insist on a written contract and do not sign anything until you understand the terms.
  6. Pay 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever amount is less.
  7. Do not let payments get ahead of the work. Keep records of all payments.
  8. Do not make final payment until you are satisfied with the job.
  9. Do not pay cash.
  10. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project (change orders, warranties, etc.).

SCAM SIGNALS:

  1. High-pressure or scare tactics ("offer good today only")
  2. Over-friendly sales pitches
  3. "Material left-over"
  4. Escalating prices
  5. Deals that sound too good to be true

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