Hiring a Contractor Checklist

by | Aug 9, 2015

Hiring a contractor to repair the damage to your home can be one of the most important decisions you make as a homeowner.  While most contractors are honest and reputable, we have had a few instances where the contractor did not have our client’s best interest in mind. Here are a few tips you may want to consider before hiring a contractor.

  1.  Use your Claim professional’s estimate as a benchmark.
    • Be cautious of estimates that seem too high or too low.  Make sure the work outlined in your adjuster’s estimate is compatible with the work described in the contractor’s estimate.
  2. Consider hiring a local contractor.  Get referrals from friends, family and coworkers.  It is easier to deal with a local contractor if problems develop.  Be cautious of door-to-door salespeople who make unrealistically low estimates.
  3. Get a copy of their contractor’s license, certificate of insurance for both general liability and workers’ compensation coverage, a list of references from people who had similar projects done, and a detailed quote that itemizes material and labor.
  4. Create a contract detailing the cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules and other expectations.

Here are a few RED FLAGS to look out for when dealing with a contractor:

  1. Asks you to pay the entire balance up front
  2. Only accepts cash
  3. Avoids giving you a written contract
  4. Goes door-to-door
  5. Lists a P.O. Box instead of a street address
  6. Offers to pay your insurance deductible

Finally, always let your agent know when you’re planning a home improvement project.  If you don’t, you run the risk of coming up short if you have to rebuild after a total loss.