Thinking about putting your home on the market--or just bought a home?
Need a little (or a lot) of help with some of your projects?
Thought you could do it yourself, but with a dog, a baby, a full-time job and a fantastic series on Netflix...well, maybe hiring this out would be better.
You're in luck! Check out our Client Resources page for a contractor referral.
If you have never hired a contractor before, and don't want to be featured on a Call 6 Investigation, read on.
Hiring a Contractor 101: Tips and Tricks
♦ "Word of Mouth" is the best form of advertising. Check with friends, neighbors, trade associations, and home improvement stores for referrals.
♦ If a bid is substantially lower than others, ask why. Will the contractor use inferior products, or are they too inexperienced to make an accurate estimate?
♦ Are estimates based on a fixed price or a “cost-plus” bid? In a fixed price bid, changes during construction are re-negotiated. In a cost-plus bid, the contractor does the job, then submits receipts along with an invoice for labor.
♦ Think carefully about hiring someone who has “just completed work in your area” and offers bargain prices.
♦ Hire someone who gives a written estimate, contract, contractor’s number, and local references.
♦ Arrange to make payments upon completion of defined amounts of work.
♦ Include written warranties. Note the name and address of the party responsible for honoring the warranty, as well as the warranty’s time period.
♦ Every contract should include the following: 1) A detailed description of the work and the materials to be used; 2) the total cost of the work and a payment schedule (if necessary); 3) additional promises made by the salesperson/contractor; 4) start and completion dates, warranty information; 5) cleanup information; and 6) the signature of you and your contractor.
A few important notes:
Listen, most contractors are hard-working, honest and trustworthy. However, there are a few untrustworthy ones out and about. Educate yourself on common scams and don't hire anyone on the spot. If you've been duped into signing a contract, call the police and make a report to your Attorney General.
◊ Make sure you are satisfied before making final payment.
◊ As long as you have your money in hand, you call the shots.
◊ Still, be aware that some states allow subcontractors and suppliers to file a lien against your home if you hold payment unnecessarily.
Miriam Odegard, Real Estate Broker
United Real Estate Indianapolis
1425 East 82nd Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46240
text/mobile: (317) 220-5397