While the majority of contractors are honest professionals, it is still important for homeowners to be aware of possible scammers, frauds or swindlers when hiring a contractor before undergoing a remodel. Consumers should be wary of contractors who ask for money upfront. According to the Better Business Bureau, contractors who say they need a significant percentage of the project price in advance are more likely to disappear with the money or do sub-par work with the impression they can’t be fired as they are already in possession of most of their payment. Ten percent of the job total or $1,000, whichever is less, is enough to establish someone as a serious customer and have the contractor work them into their schedule.
In addition, homeowners should never just take the word of a contractor: get everything in a legal contract. Details on specifications, upgrades and extra touches should all be included in the contract; otherwise, the contractor is under no legal obligation to include them in the finished project.
Check out HouseLogic’s How to Not Look Like a Clueless Homeowner spotlight for more information that first-time homeowners don’t know they don’t know. Chat with homeowners who recently worked with a remodeling contractor about questions they wish they had asked beforehand. Speak with REALTORS® in your area about recommendations and advice they give clients looking to remodel a home.
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Each month, NAR produces a few story ideas for the media, presenting timely topics accompanied with background information and facts related to the real estate market. These housing and real estate story ideas are designed to help media generate content for news stories, hopefully serving as a helpful resource to those in the media looking for stories or new angles.