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Top 10 Tips to Hiring and Working with a Contractor


* Not in any order

  1. Contractor needs to have References, and check them-does he have legitimate advertising-"yellow pages", listings, word of mouth, specific references to jobs
  2. Have insurance company mail you insurance of contractor addressed to you (too many opportunities to "doctor" or photocopy insurance letters)
  3. Ask to see drivers licence of business owner/contractor-match face to person; write down drivers licence number
  4. Get a Contract in writing - specifying all work done;be as specific as possible; and the total cost
  5. Quotations are not contracts; Get a contract with terms & cost (example of contract)
  6. Communicate- talk with contractor to clear up any misconceptions/understandings BEFORE job starts
  7. Any changes or additions need to be in writing
  8. Do not give more than 50% of a down payment; 25% is reasonable with interim payments as job is completed and at least 20% or more held back until job is complete;
  9. For bigger jobs/subcontractor involvement, you should holdback 10% to prevent a lien being applied to your home if contractor does not pay subcontractors (usually for 45 days after completion)
  10. Do not pay for incomplete or shoddy workmanship and do not pay interim payments unitil work is complete to your satisfaction but on the same token, be fair to the contractor.

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