HOT TOPIC: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN CONTEMPLATING HOME RENOVATIONS
1. Confirm who you are hiring.
Are you hiring Joe? You met Joe. But you are likely hiring a corporation called Joe's Cement Company. Go online and check out the hire. Ask for references. Go to the references house and check the work. Go online to yelp, Better Business Bureau and check out references. Get an address. Get more than a cell phone number.
2. Get it in Writing.
Contracts, proposals, invoices, whatever they call it, have it reduced to writing. What exactly is the contractor doing? Is the work for labor only, or is it for materials too? If its for materials, what exactly is being supplied? Is it a high end materials, or base model materials? What is the price? Are there attorney fee provisions. Make sure fees go to the prevailing party.
3. Timing of Payments.
You should never be paying a large amount upfront. Ever. There are times when materials have to be purchased before they start. Otherwise, the first payment, no more than 1/3 of the contract price should be on the first day, when the crew shows up. Then have at least a third left for after completion. Any other amounts should be paid after a objective item is complete.
4. Waivers of Payments.
At the time of each payment, you should receive a partial waiver of lien which confirms the amount of the payment, the total amount of the contract, and it tells you if any other company supplied materials or work on your house and whether they are owed money. At the end, get a final waiver of lien. This protects you against mechanics lien claims.
5. Change Orders.
Have to be in writing. What they are charging for? Are you entitled to any credits for the change? Why was it necessary? Does it push back the timing of the finish date?