If you need some work done on your home, many people feel comfortable just taking on a small project on their own if it means they will save some money. But if the project is going to be bigger in scope or require speciality knowledge in certain things, it’s often a better idea to hire a contractor to take care of the work for you.
While this will be more expensive than doing the work on your own, it will save you the risk of potentially making a mistake that could be even more expensive in the long run. However, many people worry about hiring contractors because it can be hard to know if you’re getting what you’re paying for. To help make sure you’re taken care of financially in these situations, here are three tips for hiring a contractor to work on your home.
Bid Your Project Out
Depending on the size of area you live in, there are likely quite a few options of contractors to choose from. Before you settle on working with one, it’s best to get multiple bids on your project to see which one will line up closest to your idea of how the project will go, both financially and with regards to the timeline. When getting these bid together, Matt Blank, a contributor to AngiesList.com, reminds us that the lowest bid won’t always be the best bid. If one is markedly lower than the rest, this could mean they’re using cheaper materials or are planning to cut some corners, which may not be a path you want to go down.
When working in construction, there’s a chance that someone could get hurt or something could get broken that wasn’t part of the plan. In these instances, insurance will help to cover the costs. Knowing this, it’s important to double-check the type of insurance your contractor is working with. The Federal Trade Commission shares that contractors should have personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage with their insurance. Make sure you ask for copies or at least see proof of this coverage before you choose to hire anyone. If their insurance proves to be insufficient or non-existent, you could be liable.
Know Your State’s Lien Laws
Something you may not have thought a lot about when contemplating hiring a contractor is your state’s laws regarding liens. According to Popular Mechanics, if your contractor subcontracts work on your project out to someone else and doesn’t end up paying that subcontractor, some states allow that subcontractor to hold you responsible for their payment and can even put a lien on your home. To avoid this, make sure you’re aware of your potential responsibilities when it comes to paying everyone who works on your project. Also, if one of your contractors already has a lien against him, think twice about hiring him to work for you.
If you’re needing to hire a contractor to work on your home in the near future, use the tips mentioned above to learn how to protect yourself financially from any potential problems.