How do I choose a contractor?
1. Get referrals from family and friends
2. “ Look for the Seal” The BBB Accredited Business Seal to ensure you’re getting a contractor the meets BBB Standards of Trust
3. Check out their track record at centralohio.bbb.org – BBB Business Reviews include current background information, complaint details, BBB rating, customer reviews and BBB Accreditation information.
4. Avoid door to door solicitors claiming to do extra work in your neighborhood, and use extra caution for those putting flyers in mailboxes.
5. Check criminal history for anyone you allow on your property
How can I avoid problems before they occur and before the work begins?
(In addition to 1-5 above:)
1. Get a signed written contract and don’t rely on verbal promises. The contract should include the start and completion dates for each phase of the project, exact costs, specific work to be done and warranty information. Read the fine print carefully.
2. Do not pay large amounts up front, stagger payments for larger projects and do not pay in cash- pay by check or credit card.
3. Check with BBB before you do business with a contractor.
What steps should I take if there is a problem after the work begins?
1. Contact the contractor and voice your concerns. If the project is moving along too slowly or there is concern of poor workmanship, the homeowner should notify the company personnel in charge of the project. As there can be numerous workers on a jobsite, depending on the scope of the work being completed, the project manager many not be one of the onsite workers.
2. Be proactive – make a list of your concerns and set a time period for the company to respond to your concerns. Always be polite and courteous when discussing problems with the company. The goal is to keep the line of communication open.
3. Have all your documents, including the contract; any changes done to the contract, payments made; and before, during and after photos organized.
4. Know when to get outside help. Depending on the type of project, a homeowner may need to research other options to salvage the project if working directly with the company is not successful.
5. File a complaint with BBB if you and the contractor cannot come to a resolution
6. Do not make final payment until you are completely satisfied with the work.
BBB's Dispute Resolution Program offers consumers mediation and arbitration services to help resolve disputes.
Mediation: In mediation, a professionally trained mediator meets with the parties and guides them in working out their own mutually agreeable solutions. During the confidential mediation session, the BBB mediator clarifies and reframes problems and helps the two sides talk with each other and discuss solutions. Mediators don't decide who is right or wrong. Instead, they help people reach a solution on their own one that works best for them
Arbitration: In arbitration, the parties state their views at an arbitration hearing, offer evidence, and let an impartial third party from the BBB's pool of certified arbitrators make the decision that will end the dispute. The arbitrator is trained to listen to both sides and weigh the evidence presented at the hearing. The arbitrator will make a decision about the dispute after the hearing is over. Arbitration is a fast and inexpensive way to settle a problem and keep it out of court
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
Businesses may be in an industry that require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency and your municipality to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Columbus Building & Development Services
757 Carolyn Ave, Columbus OH 43224
Phone Number: (614) 645-7433