Helpful Contracting Tips
- Hire only licensed, qualified contractors.
- Check with neighbors and friends for referrals.
- Check references.
- Verify contractors' insurance.
- Write a specification of the work you want performed.
- Have a written contract that includes your specifications.
- Get three or more bids for large jobs. Do not automatically take lowest bid. Select best value based on price, ability to perform work, experience and responsiveness.
- State contracting laws prohibit a licensed contractor from accepting a deposit of more than 10% of the contract price or $1,000.00, excluding finance charges, whichever is less.
- If deposit is for purchase of materials, make your check out as a two-party check in the name of the contractor and material supplier.
- Retain a portion of the final payment until you are sure all work has been performed satisfactorily (include retention clause in contract).
- Allow for reasonable progress payments on completed work.
- Report unethical contractors to the State Contractors Board at (714) 994-7450.
The State Contractors Board provides a free booklet entitled, "What you Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor," and is available by calling (714) 994-7450. In addition, the Contractors Board provides a 24 hour hotline, (800) 321-2752, which may be called to verify the status of a contractor's license.
Remember to have plans approved by the Association's Architectural Review Committee prior to bidding. This will help to avoid conflicts with the contractor's proposal resulting from possible changes to plans as a result of the committee's review.
Hiring the right professional contractor will make any home improvement go easier and add greater value to your home. Always be sure to plan ahead and follow the steps above when working with a contractor.
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