by: Tom Laing
Our homes are our precious possessions – to own a home for oneself is a goal many people aim for in life, even from childhood. After making a home for oneself and the family, it needs to be kept clean and well maintained. Home repair improvement plays a big role in the duties of owning a home. Home repair improvement is something that should be handled with care and planning. If not, the whole effort is going to be counter productive and it will require another phase of home repair to set everything right.
While embarking upon a whole series of home repair improvement work, do a bit of thinking on how you are going to do the things. There are hundreds of sites on the web suggesting tips about effective home repair improvement and there are contractors who boast themselves to be the final word in the art of home repair improvement. The point is, while hiring someone for the home repair improvement work, make sure that the person under consideration is a competent expert in the trade. After all, your home is a major financial asset and it is your duty to ensure that all home repair improvement goes well.
In home repair improvement plans, there will be a lot of contractors coming forward offering their expert services at varying rates. You could easily find the contact information of such people in yellow pages, news papers and TV and Radio. But in such cases, there is no way by which we could assess their credibility regarding their expertise in home repair improvement work.
The best rule of thumb is to check it with your friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have had home repair improvement work done. Ask them if they were satisfied with the end product and get the name of the contractor they used. Get written estimates from several firms and ask for explanations for price variations. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.
Depending upon the scope and size of the home repair improvement project you have, select a general contractor or a specialist. Design/Build Contractors provide one-stop service – they see everything from start to finish. Make sure that the home repair improvement contractor you contact is reputable because not all contractors work ethically. Be aware of the following red flags – your contractor offers you discounts for referrals; he just happens to have materials left over from a previous job; he only accepts cash payments; he pressures you for an immediate decision; he offers exceptionally long guarantees and asks you to pay for the entire job up-front.
Before hiring a home repair improvement contractor it will be worthwhile to ask him a few questions. Ask how long he has been in business, if he is licensed and registered with the state, if he has a list of references, if he has a portfolio the projects done recently and what type insurance he carries. Any flaw in any of these factors invariably proves the point that the home repair improvement contractor is a phony or works without a valid license.
Regarding the payment options in the home repair improvement work, make sure that you have an idea about the limit of down payment. Try to make payments during the project contingent upon completion of a defined amount of work. Don’t make the final payment or sign an affidavit of final release until you are satisfied with the work and know that the subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.
Make it a point to make a written contract signed by both the parties before starting the home repair improvement work. See carefully that every term and condition is agreed upon and is free of any loop holes. Keep track of all the relevant paper work concerning all the activities done during the home repair improvement work. Before you sign off and make the final payment, ensure yourself that every detail and everything is in place and accounted for. Make sure that all standards have been met and you have relevant proof that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. Above all, walk around and see that the home repair improvement work has been done satisfactorily.
During or after the home repair improvement work, if you have any difference of opinion, try to solve it by speaking with the contractor directly. If you are not able to resolve at that level, contact State and local consumer protection offices, state or local Builders Association and/or Remodelor’s Council, the Local Better Business Bureau, Action line and consumer reporters or Local dispute resolution programs.