Whether youíre planning an addition for a growing family or simply getting new storm windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project.
Sentry Contractors, Inc recommends asking the following questions when choosing your Contractor:
Are you licensed in the State of Michigan? Ask for the license number and go to the Bureau of Commercial Services website www.dleg.state.mi.us to verify the license.
Are there any complaints against you? Go the Bureau of Commercial Services website www.dleg.state.mi.us to check complaint history.
Are city inspectors favorable? The best way to check out a contractor is to talk to the city inspector (city of contractor).
Can you show proof of a certificate of insurance for both liability and workers' compensation? If a contractor does not have workers' compensation coverage, workers who are injured while working on your home could sue you.
Do you warrant your work?
Do you have references relevant to my project?
Will you provide a complete written estimate with a fixed price for the work? Do you provide written change estimates?
Are you easy to reach to answer a question?
Do you respond to questions or issues in a timely manner?
How is the operation managed?
Do I feel comfortable with and trust the person I am about to hire?
Do you provide a waiver of lien as needed?
Donít Get Nailed
Not all contractors operate within the law. Here are some tip-offs to potential rip-offs. A less than reputable contractor:
- solicits door-to-door
- offers you discounts for finding other customers
- just happens to have materials left over from a previous job
- only accepts cash payments
- asks you to get the required building permits
- does not list a business number in the local telephone directory
- tells you your job will be a "demonstration"
- pressures you for an immediate decision
- offers exceptionally long guarantees
- asks you to pay for the entire job up-front
- suggests that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows