Finding A Contractor Anywhere!
Picking A Good Contractor – The RIGHT Contractor For Your Job
Why Hiring A Professional, Licensed Contractor Saves YOU $$$
A Contractor Anywhere, must be licensed, insured and bonded. This means studying, completing paperwork, and finally, writing an exam which must be passed in order to be accepted.
It is very important to any homeowner to use a licensed contractor, simply because if you don’t then you have so little recourse against them that you will be screwed.
Homeowners lose the ability to recover damages through the bond as well as the CCB Dispute Resolution Service if they use an unlicensed contractor (CCB is the government service located in the state of Oregon. This is a service located in every state I have ever worked in-Google your state to find yours. Use that service to find out of a contractor you are considering using has – EVER – had any complaints filed against them or their business. If they have then ask them this question – “Tell me about the issue you had . . . . . And how was it resolved?” Pay close attention to the answer too; it could save you hundreds/thousands of dollars).
“Anyone can pretend to be a contractor.” Don’t take the chance of getting in trouble because of trying (hoped) to cut corners! Always check ANY contractors license!
Why Check A Contractor’s License?
The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) believes the best way to a successful home improvement, repair or new home project is to know your contractor. Checking a contractor’s license can tell you:
- The contractor is actively licensed and has a surety bond.
- The contractor submitted proof of liability insurance at the time of application and insurance renewal. *
- The contractor submitted information that they carry Workers’ Comp Insurance to protect its workers on the project.
- Breach of contract complaints filed with the CCB in the past seven years.
- CCB disciplinary actions against business in the past seven years.
Common mistakes Homeowners Make In Hiring Contractors:
1. Automatically accepting the lowest bid.
The contractor may have missed some items. A higher bid may be (and usually is) worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability.
2. No written contract.
A written contract protects you and the contractor. It is required that all construction agreements be committed to a written contract if the price exceeds $2000. All agreements, including all changes to the contract, should be in writing. Change orders aren’t free – Don’t expect them to be.
3. Not checking the contractor’s license.
A license is required for any construction business that advertises, offers, bids, or performs any construction, home improvement, remodeling or repair work.
4. Not checking references.
Check with previous customers. Were they satisfied with the work? Was the work finished on time? Did the contractor return phone calls? If the person had problems with the contractor, ask how the contractor responded to complaints.
If you cannot visit any of the contractor’s job sites in Portland, Oregon, or Honolulu, Hawaii, then ask for pictures.
For your protection – Contracts should be as detailed as possible. Some items to include are materials and costs, permits, estimated start and completion dates, debris removal, and arbitration clauses. Here are some pointers to assure a solid contract.
*Read and understand your contract before signing it:
Don’t be pressured into signing your contract without taking the time needed to go through it. Make sure it includes enough details to avoid misunderstandings and to protect you and your property.
*Special Note on Liens:
Subcontractors and material suppliers that work on your project are often paid by the general contractor. If a general contractor fails to pay, the subcontractor may file a lien on your property. For information on construction liens, visit the CCB’s Consumer help page. SEE HERE for that page.
*A Payment Schedule
Should be included in the contract. Stick to the schedule and never pay in full for a project before the work is complete.
Your remodel or addition doesn’t have to be a nightmare. I have done plenty of jobs over the last 30 + years and most of my customers are dear friends.
Remember that a well respected contractor in any state or city will have a proven track record. Trust your intuition and gut feeling when the initial introduction is made either through a referral, or by other means.