7 Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Hell 

  1. Get Recommendations from:  
  • Friends and family. 
  • The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of members in your area. 
  • Building inspectors for any knowledge about specific contractors 
  1. Interview contractors by phone and then in person for:  
  • Financial references from suppliers or banks. 
  • List of previous clients. 
  • Length of time they’ve worked with their subcontractors. 
  1. Fact-FindCall former clients and visit job sites. Call your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to investigate complaints.  
  1. Make Plans, Get BidsCompare bids and study costs for labor, material, profit margins and expenses. (Materials usually make up 40% of the total while the rest covers overhead and the profit margin — usually 15% to 20%.) 
  1. Set a Payment Schedule: Work out a payment schedule in advance.   
  1. Don’t Decide by Price Alone: Beyond technical skill, the single most important factor when choosing a contractor is communication and if you’re comfortable with the person.  
  1. Get it Right in WritingCreate a contract listing every step of the project: proof of liability insurance, payment schedule, workers’ compensation payments, a start and projected completion date, specific materials and products used, and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers. 
MI Asian
Author: MI Asian