Consumer Tips

Tips For a Successful Home Improvement Project:

Choosing a contractor can be confusing. But don't despair there are steps you can take to make the process less daunting and choose a contractor with confidence. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure the job goes smoothly:

- Plan your project and your budget carefully. Unless you have a detailed set of plans with a complete material list and contractor notes, no two contractors will ever bid the same.

- Beware of the cheapest price. The low bid has the illusion of being a bargain, but it's invariably the start of a client horror story. There are lots of reasons to be suspicious of any price that is substantially below the others. Once a contractor realizes they've underbid a job, they'll often find ways to cut corners by using lesser quality materials, hiring inexperienced labor or, worse yet, abandoning the project altogether. The low bidder could be unlicensed, uninsured or unqualified.

- Rely on references. Make sure your contractor has experience with your type of job. They should be experienced in the size, scope and complexity of the job. Good references are priceless.

The final comparison

-Look beyond the bid. One of the most common problems with any project is the failure to communicate. Hire a professional who has made a commitment to his profession. Before you sign a contract for any type of home repair or remodel, call State Contractors License Board to verify the contractors' license, bond, and insured.