BBB offers tips for home maintenance and hiring a contractor
AUSTIN, Texas—Spring is often a busy time for homeowners and a great time to get some home improvement tasks done. In recognition of National Home Improvement Month, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas is offering tips for finding a trustworthy contractor.
Whatever repair or installation you need done, BBB recommends consumers use a BBB Accredited Business. BBB’s Search includes contact information for the type of contractor you need, such as landscape contractors and roofing contractors. We also have a Spring Home Improvement site that includes a maintenance checklist, home remodeling ideas and quick links to finding a contractor.
Although some home repairs and projects can be done on your own, or with a little help from Pinterest, bigger projects and routine maintenance should be completed by a professional.
BBB advises you to keep the following tips in mind when searching for a trustworthy contractor:
- Do your research and compare costs. Start your search online at bbb.org to find BBB accredited contractors in your area. If you are referred to a business or contractor through friends, family or an advertisement, verify the business is in good standing by checking out customer reviews and complaint history. Get at least two or three bids from prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials, labor and time needed to complete the project. Also, ask for customer references directly from the business.
- Consider using an insured contractor. Ask for copies of insurance certificates and make sure they’re current, or you could be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends contractors have personal liability, worker’s compensation and property damage coverage. If you need repairs done, contact your insurance company and make sure you understand your homeowner’s insurance policy and coverage.
- Review your contract thoroughly. Get everything in writing, including verbal agreements. Make sure it includes all the materials needed to complete the job, an itemized list of all costs involved, any subcontracted labor and a warranty for all work performed. Also, get a copy of the contract, the contractor’s insurance and any signed documents.
- Never pay in full upfront. Some contractors may require a down payment before work begins, but it should not be a significant portion of the total cost. This could be a red flag of a shady contractor. Instead, make payments that align with the progress of the work completed, and final payment when the work is finished to your satisfaction.
For home renovation tips and to find BBB accredited contractors near you, visit http://www.bbb.org/central-texas/get-consumer-help/home-improvement-spring-edition/.
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