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Avoiding contractor horror stories

I am doing a presentation on “hiring someone to work on your house” for the home improvement club at work. I have gathered some information so far but I’d like to hear from other people about some things they did right and some things they did wrong, what they’d do the same and what they’d do differently.

I’d also like to hear from contractors on what are some things the homeowner should and should not do in order to foster a good working relationship and help ensure a successful project.

Thanks for your ideas.

Re: Avoiding contractor horror stories

Get everything in writing.... what they'll be doing, what materials, any particular things you do or do not want done.

Estimate, of course, in writing.

Ask to see their insurance and workman's comp policy (kinda shocking how many don't have 'em, and even seem affronted if you ask. hah!).

Get lien wavers from contractor and from suppliers.

Don't pay for the whole job at the beginning. Maybe in stages, but a good chunk should be saved for last payment after completion, clean up, etc. to your satisfaction.

Oh, and ask for references and go look at the work and talk to the people.

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