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Failure to Get it in Writing
The biggest mistake many homeowners make when hiring a home remodeler is the failure to get everything in writing. Just because you verbally agreed to a price, specific material, budget or timeline does not mean you will end up with the real hardwood floors you wanted instead of laminate, or that the renovations will be finished in July rather than October. Get everything that you have agreed upon or discussed in writing. This includes any information pertaining to the budget, payment schedule, materials, project guidelines, and the estimated start and completion time for the project.
Paying for the Full Project Upfront
If the home remodeler requests that you pay for the full project before work begins, take that as a red flag and start looking at other home remodeling contractors. While it is customary to make a moderate deposit before work on the project starts, the remaining balance should be covered by making regular payments at agreed upon milestones as the project is completed. When hiring a home remodeler, ask up front what their expected payment schedule is.
Paying in Cash
Any home improvement contractor who asks for payment in cash is probably not a reputable contractor. An established contractor will have the ability to accept different forms of payment and keeps track of their money trail. Once the cash leaves your hands, you have no remedy if the work is not up to par or the contractor skips town. It is in your best interest to make payments with a credit or debit card, or a check or money order. Not only should a reputable business be able to accept other forms of payment, but it is in your best interest to pay with a method that provides proof of payment, such as a credit card, a debit card, a check or money order.
Failure to Obtain a Waiver of Lien
If you fail to make payments as agreed upon, no matter the reason, home improvement contractors and subcontractors have the right to file a lien against your property. If you pay your home remodeler and they fail to pay the subcontractors, they can turn around and file a lien against your property and demand payment. When hiring a home remodeler, obtain a waiver of lien from them and any subcontractors they or you hire. Failure to do so, even if you have paid the contractor, could lead to serious financial repercussions.
Failure to Check on Workmen’s Compensation Coverage
If your contractor falls off a ladder and breaks their collarbone, or their worker has an accident with the nail gun, do you want to be responsible for their medical bills and recovery? Unless your home remodeler carries workmen’s compensation insurance coverage, you can end up footing the bill for anyone injured while completing your renovations. Verify that the home improvement contractor has a workmen’s compensation policy in place before any work begins.
Failure to Verify Liability Insurance Coverage
Not only can you be held financially liable for any worker’s injuries that occur on your property while working on your project, you can also be held responsible for any damages incurred to your own property unless the remodeling contractor carries a liability insurance policy. If they fail to roof your home properly and leaks ruin your ceiling, carpeting, and furnishings, you can sue them, but it will likely be a lengthy and costly exercise with no guarantee of payment. Protect your home and bank account by verifying liability insurance coverage before hiring a home remodeler. While you can certainly sue the contractor for damages if he doesn’t have coverage, this can be a lengthy and costly process that doesn’t guarantee a reimbursement of funds in the end. Therefore, you should be sure to verify coverage before hiring a home remodeler.
Your Home Remodeling Project is Important
information in this guide to avoid costly mistakes that happen from hiring the wrong remodeling contractor.
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