Householders ought to use warning when contracting providers for residence enchancment tasks

Rick Walz writes the “Shopper Advocate”

June is Nationwide Homeownership Month, a possibility for U.S. residents to mirror on the significance of the house and its function of their lives. With a median asking value of $225,500 for a house, turning into a home-owner takes dedication, persistence and good budgeting. For a lot of first-time homebuyers, closing the deal on their buy is a time of celebration and gratitude. Whereas transferring furnishings and solidifying paperwork would possibly look like the most important impediment to having fun with their new residence, it doesn’t take lengthy earlier than they discover their first main residence enchancment undertaking.

Buying a house is without doubt one of the largest and most vital investments shoppers make of their lives. It’s important to train warning when contracting providers for residence enchancment tasks to guard their funding. Use these BBB suggestions for each new and seasoned householders to assist contract with confidence:

Obtain at the very least three quotes. BBB strongly recommends that householders trying to contract providers for any work obtain at the very least three quotes from separate companies earlier than deciding on a ultimate resolution. Receiving a number of quotes permits householders to have a strong understanding of pricing and providers and contributes to their potential to have an knowledgeable dialog with their chosen contractor in regards to the undertaking’s value. You’ll want to verify to search out contractors you may belief.

By no means pay the entire undertaking price upfront. Even when the contractor affords a big low cost for paying the entire price of the undertaking upfront, BBB at all times recommends staggering funds via the size of the undertaking. Staggering funds permit the house owner to examine the work at particular milestones, guaranteeing that the work is accomplished to their satisfaction earlier than releasing the subsequent cost installment. Householders ought to keep away from contractors practising aggressive ways or insisting on receiving full cost earlier than starting the undertaking, and most deposits ought to vary between 10-30% of the entire undertaking price. Some contractors could require a extra vital down cost as a result of value of supplies or different clearly communicated points.

Perceive licensing necessities. Relying on the kind of work a home-owner desires, state or native regulatory businesses could require totally different licensing. In these industries that usually require licenses (electricians, HVAC, plumbers, pesticide applicators, and so on.), spend the time to double-check the license is legitimate with the relevant company. The contractor needs to be forthcoming in describing precisely how the house owner can confirm the license is lively. Remember the fact that the house owner could also be held chargeable for work accomplished by an unlicensed contractor that doesn’t adjust to constructing codes or leads to property injury.

Be cautious of ‘too good to be true’ offers. As is frequent in any market transaction, critically consider any deal that appears too good to be true. Belief in your instinct. Providing items and providers at steep reductions for a ‘restricted time’ is a typical tactic of scammers and con artists to encourage shoppers to make rapid choices earlier than verifying the legitimacy of the enterprise or particular person.

For extra house owner info, go to, BBB’s on-line useful resource heart for householders to grasp the varied points of residence possession and enchancment or restore tasks. If you happen to see a rip-off, whether or not you’ve misplaced cash or not, report it to

Rick Walz is the President and CEO of the Higher Enterprise Bureau serving Northern Indiana, which serves 23 counties. Contact the BBB at 800-552-4631 or go to

This text initially appeared on South Bend Tribune: Shopper Advocate: Select your contractor with confidence