Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
It is extremely important to compare costs before making a financial commitment toward any home improvement project. You should solicit at least two or three bids from prospective contractors based upon the same building specifications, material, labor, and time needed to complete the project.
Do not automatically choose the lowest price. Once contractor's bid might be higher because the materials to be used are of better quality or because the work will be especially thorough and, therefore, require more time and labor.
If the project does require a building permit, the contractor should apply for it in his or her name. Thus, if the contractor's work does not pass inspection, you cannot be held financially responsible for any corrections that must be made.
In addition, make sure the written contract includes: the contractor's full name, address, telephone number and professional license number (if applicable). Never sign a partial or blank contract. Read every contract clause carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing. Retain a copy of the contract once it is signed, and file it in your records.