Top Ten Things to do When Hiring a Contractor

1.  Check Out Their Track Record-  Contact the Better Business Bureau to obtain Business Reviews on any company you are considering hiring.  It's fast, easy, and free.

Visit the BBB's website 24 hours a day at bbb.org or call 1-800-646-6222.

2.  Solicit Multiple Quotes- Shop around and get at least three written estimates.

3.  Verify License Insurance & Bonding- Ensure that companies have a current license to do work in Minnesota, (dli.mn.gov), as well as liability and workers compensation insurance.  Also, make sure that all workers are bonded.

4.  Ask for References- Get references from friends and relatives, and also ask the companies for references from their last three jobs and check them out before you sign a contract.

Use extra caution with sale people who are going door to door in your neighborhood or are claiming to be doing work with your neighbors; ensure they are an employee of the business they claim to be representing.

5.  Inquire about a Lien Waiver- Ask whether the contractor will provide a lien waver upon completion of work.

A lien waiver is a statement by the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work.

6.  Don't Forget Building Permits- Permits are for your protection and help ensure work will meet local building codes.

Companies are required to get permits and should be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits - not you.

7.  Consider All Angles- Keep in mind that if you choose to do business with someone who is not local, you need to know who to contact in regard to any service needs that may arise after the completion of the project.

8.  Get it in Writing- Do not allow work to start without a signed, written contract that includes start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information.

Be aware that anything you sign is a contract.  Pay special attention to any details in bold, that are underlined, or that you need to initial.

9.  Don't Rely on Verbal Promises- Any promises made orally should be written into the contract, including warranties on materials or labor.

10.  Arrange a Payment Schedule- Never pay in full in advance of a project.  Stagger your payments according to agreed-upon stages of work completion and do not make a final payment until all work is finished.  Never pay in cash; use check or credit card.

bbb.org     or     800-646-6222 

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