According to the BBB, the home improvement industry is consistently in the top five types of businesses that receive the most consumer complaints each year. – Charlotte, NC Better Business Bureau
Have you or a neighbor thought about remodeling, instead of moving? Stricter lending practices have continued to make affordable credit terms harder to obtain, and that is one reason why home buying has continued to slow. A June 24, 2010, article in the USA Today stated that May 2010 saw the largest drop in home purchases in 47 years. Additionally, one-third of all home sales, in the first quarter of 2010, were made on foreclosed homes, as posted on Reuters.com. With the real estate market limping along, more people are staying put and spending their housing budgets on home improvements. Unfortunately, not all home remodeling businesses maintain the same high quality standards, and there have been home owners that end up worse off after hiring a remodeler. These steps and questions will help you avoid home remodeling troubles.
Are you registered with the state?
While state registration does not necessarily mean an individual or company is excellent at their craft, it does mean that the state has verified that this is their primary business and are insured. Additionally, in order to keep the required registration number, contractors must comply with specific requirements in the contracts they make up, giving consumers an added degree of protection.
Are you able to provide a current insurance certificate?
According to Rich Hubner, owner of Diamond Construction in Plum, Pennsylvania, an insurance certificate is an insurance provider’s verification that the contractor’s business is properly covered. Hubner takes additional steps by requiring all subcontractors to provide proof of insurance, and he carries an umbrella insurance policy that covers his employees, as well as, any out of the ordinary events that may occur.
If you have never worked with the home remodeler before, don’t hesitate to call their insurance company and ask them to verify the certificate.
May I contact previous customers of yours?
Diamond Construction suggests actually contacting the customers that recommend a particular home remodeler. In some cases those past customers may be willing to allow you to visit the job site and view for your self the work that was completed. It is one thing to read a comment, but seeing the quality of the remodeler’s craftsmanship is another
Will you put your guarantees and my estimate in writing?
Be sure that you have any promises, such as warranties, in writing. You should receive a copy of any contracts or agreements that are signed.