The following are some suggestions to follow from your BBB before hiring a contractor:
1) Verify the contractor's license, insurance, and bonding by calling the Contractor's State License Board.
2) Obtain at least three written estimates.
3) Before signing a contract, OBTAIN IN WRITING: start/completion dates; description of the work; payment schedules; materials to be installed; promises/guarantees on workmanship; and manufacturer's guarantees. Be sure everything you will be paying for is in the contract.
4) You are only required to pay 10% or $1000, whichever is less or a deposit of the work to be done.
5) It is customary for some company's to file preliminary lien notices. Don't panic. Check with the supplier to see if they have been paid by the contractor to avoid a lien being placed on your home and you having to pay twice.
6) Consider utilizing a licensed escrow company that specializes in handling funds for your construction job.
7) Be aware that California law limits the period within which a complaint may be filed against a contractor to three years from the date when the act or omission occurred.
8) Do not sign off on a completed job until all the work has been properly completed.
9) A contractor going door-to-door soliciting work must have a "Home Improvements Sales Person's Registration" or they would be in violation of State laws.
You may wish to stop by our office and pick up the free booklet put out by the Contractor's State License Board called "What You Should Know Before You Hire A Contractor" or visit their website at w w w . c s l b . c a . g o v.
Updated 07/22/05 sy