So you are looking for one of those "deals" like a bank-owned or home that needs work and you can't do it all yourself. Did you know that special renovation loans through FHA require that only licensed contractors do the repairs covered by the loan?
Most homebuyers have a contractor in mind from past work done but if you are starting fresh you need to be sure you are getting the right person for the right job.
Start by asking trusted friends for referrals, if none then begin interviewing and getting quotes.
Avoid Craig's list if you can. You never know what you are going to get. A good contractor is not the same as a good piece of furniture! Service Magic and Angie's List are good places to look. Contractors pay for the referrals there and you have a backup for complaints. No matter where you find a contractor you need to do everything in your power to check them out.
Keep these things in mind when looking for a contractor:
- A good contractor will show up on time and not blow you off.
- He is timely (within reason) of returning your calls.
- Polite, respectful and can show you references and pictures of jobs done.
- Is able to show you that he is licensed and insured.
- Is straight forward about your cost and what it includes.
Before you sign that final contract go to https://www2.dleg.state.mi.us/colaLicVerify/ . This is the State of Michigan website where you can locate the contractors to verify that they have a license in good standing, do not have any complaints filed on them, and have not been fined for issues related to their license.
If all is good and you are going to sign that contract keep these few things in mind:
- Never pay it in full before the work is done.
- Always have a completetion date included in the contract.
- Work out a payment plan for the remainder of the contract cost leaving about 20% to be paid at completion of job. (Make sure this is stated somewhere in the contract)
Do not rely on anything verbal - GET IT IN WRITING!
If you keep these things in mind you should come out satisfied with a good contractor and a job well done!
Century 21 Town & Country
Royal Oak/ B'ham