Hiring a Contractor
If you find that your home does need changes in order to make it safe, you may want to hire a home repair contractor or handyman. It is important to select a reputable contractor. Here are a few guidelines to help protect you:
- Ask friends to recommend repair contractors.
- Get at least three written estimates for the project. Most contractors give free estimates.
- Ask for and check references.
- If licensing is required in your area, ask to see the contractor’s license. Also ask for proof of insurance and bonding.
- Do not pay the contractor in full before the work is done. Some contractors will ask for a small down payment, which is permissible.
- Get a signed written agreement before work begins or money is exchanged. The agreement should specify both work and payment schedules. It should also detail the type of work to be completed.
- Do not make final payments on the project until the work has been performed to your satisfaction.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau or the attorney general’s office if you have questions or complaints about a contractor.