When you as a homeowner contemplate letting strangers into your home to do any type of remodeling work, there can be a certain uneasiness regarding the undertaking of the project.  Not only do you worry about the final product, but you also must consider your personal safety and the safety of your loved ones.  Furthermore, you want reassurance that your home and possessions will be safe and respected.  So how do you know if a contractor is honest and reputable?  Here are a few things you should check into before hiring anyone for a project.

1. References and Reviews

Thanks to the Internet, it is easy to check review sources such as Angie’s List, Google, Guild Quality, and Customer Lobby.  Client testimonials from legitimate third-party review agents are the most effective way to learn which contractors provide a positive experience for their clients.  You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau to determine if a contractor has had any recordable customer complaints.

2. Contractor’s Place of Business

You will gain confidence in a contractor that has an actual business location and is not working out of a truck. Visiting their public place of business will give you peace of mind that the contractor will likely be around for awhile.  Additionally, you should get a feel for how you and your home will be treated by the way the employees greet you and answer all your questions when you are at their place of business.

3. Insurance

In order for you and your home to be legally protected, you should request a certificate of insurance from your contractor, naming you as additional insured.  The contractor should have more than adequate general liability and worker’s compensation limits.  You can check with your homeowner’s insurance company for a recommendation on what limits you should require.

4. Licenses, Bonds and Permits

Call the development services department in your city to find out what type of license, bond and/or permit is required for your individual project. You should always verify with your municipality or city that the contractor has filed the correct documentation for your project and is licensed to work in your city. Additionally, you should request copies of all permits issued for your project. A contractor that does not possess the proper licenses, bonds, and permits might be unqualified to work on your home and certainly risking hefty fines from the city. For more information, visit the web page for the City of San Antonio Permits, Certificates of Occupancy, and Licenses Team.

5. Homeowners Association

Reputable contractors are aware that many homeowners are subject to HOA rules, covenants, and architectural restrictions.  A good contractor will ensure that projects meet association approval and be willing to work with property management.

6. Background Checks

Ask your contractor if they run background checks on their employees and/or subcontractors.  It’s reassuring to know that all persons who will be in your home have been screened for criminal and sexual offenses.

 

Any contractor that refuses to comply with these requests is probably not a trustworthy company or individual to hire. By asking questions and researching your contractor ahead of time, you will be able to make a good choice in your selection.  Safety and peace of mind are critical when you open up your home and invite strangers in to work on your most precious asset, your home.

If you have any further questions about choosing a trustworthy contractor for your remodeling project, check out our 7 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Contractor, or feel free to contact us directly.