BBB Checklist: 10 Tips for Hiring a Home Repair Contractors:
• Track record: Hire a reputable, local company. Check out a company’s BBB rating and complaint history at http://www.bbb.org. It’s fast, easy and free. You can also call the BBB at 877-317-7236, toll-free.
• Cost comparisons: Get at least three bids in writing and be sure you compare the bids based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time.
• Licensing: Check to see if the company you plan to hire has the proper licensing. Contractors must be licensed if the total job exceeds $30,000.
• Insurance: Verify the company’s liability insurance to protect you against damage. You can also check with the department of insurance in your state.
• References: Ask for references from the company’s last three jobs and check them out before you sign a contract.
• Written contract: Do not permit work to start without a signed, written contract that includes start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
• Deposit required and payment: Do not pay more than 25 to 33 percent of the total job cost as a deposit. Final payment should not be due until the job is completed. Do not pay in cash; pay by check or credit card.
• Warranty: Get warranty information in writing on products and installation. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
• Bonding: Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft or additional damage.
• Criminal history: Check out anyone you allow into your home to see if they have a criminal history online offender directory search.
For more information, visit www. bbb.org.