Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Tips to hiring a contractor
Contractor fraud cost home owners thousands of dollars every year. Below are a few things you as a consumer you should be aware of and watch out for when selecting a contractor.
- Door to door soliciting is a red flag and is not a smart way to select a contractor. (A contractor who does this is most likely from out of town and most likely has no contractor license, insurance, or bond). To see if your contractor is License to the State of North Dakota go to this website.
- Just happened to be in the neighborhood and noticed you needed repairs. (Roofing, painting, tree trimming and driveway repair are some common schemes for this type of fraud).
- The offer of discount pricing, lifetime warranties or you need to act fast to get the deal is a sure sign they are out for a quick buck. (Contactors can offer you special pricing, what you the consumer needs to do is to get that special pricing in writing along with a contract proposal that protects both you and the contractor).
- Get a contract, lien waivers, or have your financial institution issue the payments on completion of scheduled parts of the contract. (You may consider having a lawyer check over your contract to be sure it’s a legal binding contract).
- Be cautious of contractors who have a post office box or out of state phone numbers. (Contractors who do not wish to establish themselves in the community can leave at any time because they have put nothing at stake to establish themselves).
- Never give a down payment of more than 1/3 of the contract price. The down payment should be for labor only. The materials should be purchased and secured on jobsite or at the building material store.
- Never pay the final 1/3 until all inspections have been completed and you have been issued a Certificate of Occupancy from the inspection department which requires Plumbing & Electrical Certificates be complete. (If you have corrections that the inspector requires and you contractor has been paid off. You may have no leverage and they may be long gone which would require you to hire another contractor to fix the corrections)
- If you have questions regarding your contractor, a simple phone call can solve your problems. Ward County Building Inspection Dept. 701-857-6429