Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
When looking to remodel your home, the BBB has a few suggestions you may want to keep in mind. We suggest that you get at least three bids from different companies on the project you are planning. Do not automatically accept the lowest offer, as some bids may be based on different factors, make sure all of the contractors are giving you their bid based on the same specifications. Ask for local references and be sure to follow up on them. Ask the owners how satisfied they were with the work they had done and, if possible, inspect the finished product yourself. Check to see if the contractor is a member of a professional association which has standards for its members. There are local licensing, bonding, and insurance requirements and make sure your contractor is in compliance with all of them. Your contract is one of the most important papers you'll sign for the remodeling project. Make sure not to sign a contract with any blank spaces left in it. Doing that is almost like signing a blank check: the spaces may be filled in later with terms you wouldn't otherwise agee to. Also, in the contract, specify who is to obtain the necessary building permits and who is responsible for clean-up. If "time is of the essence" the date of completion must be specified in the contract. If the contractor arranges financing for the remodeling work to be done, be sure you understand all aspects of the financial terms, especially if a second mortgage of your home is used as security for the remodeling work.