Finding the Right Home Improvement and Remodeling Contractor

Renovated homes always increase the value of a home. It is estimated that Americans spend around $114.6 billion on home renovation projects with an average construction project costs anywhere around $45,000. The scale of work ranges from simple carpentry jobs to adding/remodeling bathrooms or kitchens or even converting rooms. With so much investment, it indeed makes sense to choose home improvement and remodeling contractors with care.

Statistics at the New York Times Department of Consumer Affairs reveal that complaints about home improvement contractors far outnumber all other categories. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right contractor:

– The first thing before hiring a contractor is to make sure that he has a license. Almost all states follow strict guidelines before issuing a license. Contractors are required to clear criminal background tests, written examination, and are charged a license fee. In some places like New York and Nassau, they are even required to pay a bond through a trust fund which is used to compensate consumers who were affected by shoddy and less than professional work.

– Licenses may not be a complete guarantee of the contractor’s professionalism, but at least they give the state to move on behalf of the consumer.

– Make sure that you read the contract terms and conditions in detail. Even the smartest people have faced problems because they failed to read the contract. Paying a contractor in cash also isn’t a good idea, because more often than not, it ends up in a dispute.

– And if possible, consult an architect or other specialist. People often ignore this. Homeowners are not always specific about conveying ideas to the contractor. This can sometimes prove to be a costly mistake and even involve changing the entire project. But an architect can ensure that the message is conveyed to the contractor clearly. The blue print drawn by an architect leaves little room for mistakes, because you can’t have a contractor who can come with excuses saying, ‘you didn’t tell that to me before’.

– Make sure that a penalty clause is included in the contract. As stated earlier home improvement and remodeling jobs aren’t cheap. A penalty clause would bind the contractor in finishing the project on time.

– You can also ask the contractor to provide an experienced foreman to handle the project. While this may increase costs, this would indeed be a bargain when compared to the expenses incurred because of inadequate supervision.

Home Improvement Consumer Laws Can Help You in Many Ways

There are several home improvement consumer laws that have been created to help the consumer who are working with contractors for their home projects. These consumer laws are different in different regions but one must be aware of all of them to take maximum advantage as well as to avoid any kind of troubles. Here are some of the most important home improvement consumer laws that can help you in your daily life.

You Have a Right to Cancel Your Contract

The federal government gives you the rights to cancel any kind of contract you signed within three days. This law has been created to support a consumer who happens to change his mind after signing a contract. So, in case you change your mind after signing a contract, you have three days to cancel the deal without any troubles. You have the right to do so.

Don’t Forget the Cancellation Form

When you cancel a contract, make sure you get two cancellation form of the contract from your contractor. One of these forms is for your record while the other one is for the contractor. You have to clearly mention all the details of the contractor, and the reason for canceling the contract. Make sure you ask for it from your contractor after canceling a deal. Majority of people are not aware of such home improvement consumer laws and they do not ask for any kind of documentation when they cancel a deal.

It is Your Right to Ask for a Contractor’s License

Many states do not allow any contractors to work without a contractor’s license. If you do not know about home improvement consumer laws of your region, you should make sure that your contractor is registered and has a valid license to work in a particular region. Otherwise, you might have to face several problems if your contractor does not have a contractor’s license.

Avoid a Bad Contractor

Make sure that the contractor you hired for your project has a good working reputation. Otherwise, if there is any kind of complaints signed against your contractor, you will not be able to proceed with your home improvement project according to home improvement consumer laws.

These laws are different in different regions but you can always research on the internet and get yourself updated to use these home improvement consumer laws for your best.