The Better Business Bureau serving Northern Nevada and Utah has received a number of reports about housing contractors not fulfilling work.
BBB President Jane Driggs states: “Trusting your contractor is important, but remember to verify licensing and pay a minimal down payment and then the remaining amount as the work is completed to your satisfaction.”
Consider these tips when hiring anybody to work in your home:
Research and gather information. You can search for a contractor’s Business Profile at BBB.org. Also, search for the name of the company online along with “Complaint,” “Review” or “Scam” to find different results. Ask the company if employees and sub-contractors undergo a background check. Are they trained and certified? What identification will they show when they come to your home?
Ask for references. Ask the contractor for a list of recent local references you may contact. Contact the references and ask about the services performed, their overall experience with the contractor and the quality of the work.
Ask for multiple quotes. You should always shop around and get at least three quotes from different businesses. Remember the lowest bid may not necessarily be the best bid; if one bid is significantly lower than the others, the contractor may be cutting corners or may not understand your work requirements.
Get it in writing. Always get estimates in writing and never let any work begin without a written signed contract. Don’t be pressured into signing an agreement before you’re ready and make sure you read and understand everything before signing. The contract should include contact information, start and completion dates, a detailed description of the exact work to be done, any material costs, payment arrangements, and warranty information. Ask questions if you don’t understand any part of the contract. Never sign an incomplete or partially blank contract.
Verify license and insurance. Always be sure the company you decide to work with has the necessary licenses and insurance to work in Nevada. You can visit http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com/ to learn more.
Confirm building permits. Your contractor must have the correct permits before starting your project.
Inquire about a lien waiver. A lien waiver is a statement from your contractor that says all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work.
Think about future service issues. Make sure you’re aware of your warranty coverage and how to deal with service issues.
Arrange a payment schedule. Never pay in full up front. Stagger your payments so your final payment isn’t due until the work is complete and you have fully inspected it. Don’t pay cash; make sure your check is written to a company, not an individual, or that you use a credit card.
Get a receipt. Request a receipt marked “Paid in Full” when the job is completed and your final payment made.
Keep your contract. Hold onto your contract for future reference or if any questions arise after the work is complete.