Choosing the Right Contractor
Spring is the season when many home owners decide to invest in home improvements. However, pick the wrong contractor, and you can end up literally living with your mistake for quite a while. This is why it is extra important to do your research when it comes to home repair.
Traveling contractors tend to emerge when the weather starts to take a turn for the better. They may knock on your door, unsolicited, and offer cheap or discounted repairs.
Traveling business are inherently extra risky because they leave the area after the job is complete, leaving you with few options if something goes amiss. Also, there probably aren’t too many other homeowners in the area who have experience with them, so doing your homework is difficult.
The Better Business Bureau also warns that materials and workmanship of traveling contractors may be less reliable than local businesses. They sometimes try to persuade you to use asphalt leftover from a job down the street or leftover fence materials at bargain prices. Some will entice you with promises of steep discounts if you allow them to put their sign in your front yard.
Some homeowners get lucky and the job is done well, but many more homeowners are left with a leaky roof, wobbly fence or no finished work at all.
The Better Business Bureau advises:
• Don’t be rushed into making a decision to hire a contractor. Take time to ensure the business is local and has a track record of reliable workmanship. Visit www.bbb.org and click “Check Out a Business or Charity” to read the BBB Business Review, which includes the company’s BBB rating (A+ plus to F) along with the complaint history and company contact information. The BBB maintains a database of 4 million businesses nationwide – both BBB Accredited Businesses and those that are not.
• Call references, don’t just ask for names! Ask if the job was performed as agreed upon and if they were satisfied with results.
• Check to see if the contractor has all required licenses and insurance.
• Ask for a written contract and read it to ensure everything that was discussed is included. Make sure it includes all details of the job.
For more information and resources, visit www.bbb.org.