Owners ought to use warning when contracting companies for house enchancment initiatives

Rick Walz writes the “Client Advocate”

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

Buying a house is among the largest and most vital investments shoppers make of their lives. It’s important to train warning when contracting companies for house enchancment initiatives to guard their funding. Use these BBB suggestions for each new and seasoned owners to assist contract with confidence:

Obtain no less than three quotes. BBB strongly recommends that owners trying to contract companies for any work obtain no less than three quotes from separate companies earlier than deciding on a closing determination. Receiving a number of quotes permits owners to have a strong understanding of pricing and companies and contributes to their skill to have an knowledgeable dialog with their chosen contractor in regards to the venture’s worth. Make sure to examine BBB.org to search out contractors you possibly can belief.

By no means pay the entire venture value upfront. Even when the contractor gives a major low cost for paying the entire value of the venture upfront, BBB all the time recommends staggering funds via the size of the venture. Staggering funds permit the home-owner to examine the work at particular milestones, making certain that the work is accomplished to their satisfaction earlier than releasing the subsequent cost installment. Owners ought to keep away from contractors practising aggressive techniques or insisting on receiving full cost earlier than starting the venture, and most deposits ought to vary between 10-30% of the entire venture value. Some contractors might require a extra important down cost because of the worth of supplies or different clearly communicated points.

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

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

For extra home-owner info, go to BBB.org/HomeHQ, BBB’s on-line useful resource middle for owners to know the assorted elements of house possession and enchancment or restore initiatives. When you see a rip-off, whether or not you’ve misplaced cash or not, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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 www.bbb.org

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