Remodeling your home
Some homeowners are handy enough to tackle their own remodeling or construction projects, but many will turn to contractors to make their visions a reality. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) offers a Top Ten list of things people should do before hiring a contractor:- Check out their track record. Contact BBB to obtain free Business Reviews on any company you're considering hiring. Visit bbb.org or call 1-800-646-6222.-Solicit multiple quotes. Shop around and get at least three written estimates.-Verify license and insurance. Ensure that companies have a current license to perform work in Minnesota doli.state.mn.us , as well as liability and workers' compensation insurance. In North Dakota, visit sos.nd.gov/. -Ask for references. Get references from recent jobs and verify them before signing a contract. Be leery of people who say they have leftover materials from a nearby project; ensure they are an employee of the business they claim to be representing, and take time to research the business.-Inquire about a lien waiver. A lien waiver is a statement from the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work. Be sure to ask whether the contractor will provide you with a lien waiver upon completion of the work.-Don't forget building permits. Permits are for your protection and help ensure work will meet local building codes. Check with your contractor before starting your project to see if a permit is necessary. Homeowners bear the cost of building permits, but companies should be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits.-Consider future service issues. Keep in mind that if you choose a contractor or company that isn't local you need to know who to contact in regard to any service needs that may arise after completion of the project.-Get everything in writing. Don't allow work to commence without a signed, written contract that includes project start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done and warranty information. Be aware that anything you sign is a contract.-Don't rely on verbal promises. Any promises made orally should be written into the contract, including warranties on materials and/or labor.-Arrange a payment schedule. Never pay in full in advance of a project. Stagger your payments according to agreed-upon stages of work completion and don't make a final payment until all work is finished. Never pay in cash; use check or credit card.