AFS recommends that homeowners start their home contractor search with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a non-biased source of information and references on businesses in thousands of categories. Choosing a home improvement contractor is an important decision. Many times you’ll be allowing these professionals access to inside your home and they will be in close proximity to your family. If you need major repairs, your investment may be in the thousands of dollars, and its essential to know that the work prescribed will be completed as promised.
- Start Your Search with BBB. In addition to having Reliability Reports on tens of thousands of contractors–good and bad–across the US, you can also rely on BBB’s Accredited Business Locator to find trustworthy roofers in your area. BBB Accredited businesses have pledged to uphold BBB’s Standards for Trust and are contractually obligated to resolve all complaints filed with the BBB.
- Vet the Contractor Carefully. Verify the business meets all state and local requirements including being licensed, insured and bonded. Also ask the business for references from recent jobs. Confirm whether or not the contractor will be subcontracting the job or relying on his or her own employees.
- Recognize the red flags. Beware of any contractor that uses high pressure sales tactics or requires full payment upfront. Also avoid contractors that require you to get the necessary permits.
- Make sure everything is in writing. Make sure that the full scope of the work is explained in the contract including cleanup and disposal of waste. All verbal agreements need to be included in the written agreement. Pay close attention to the payment terms, estimated price of materials and labor and any warranties or guarantees.
If you follow these simple tips, and ask for references from other home owners in your area, you’ll be closer to finding a home improvement contractor who will be a valuable member of your home improvement team.
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