shaking hands over house plansEmbarking on a home improvement project requires the assistance of an experienced contractor. However, finding the right company necessitates careful consideration. Scammers that cannot cross the street in a straight line often appear and pitch their services. On paper, some of the propositions may seem like good deals, but in reality, the service will disappoint.

As a tile store in Anaheim we know firsthand that a bathroom or kitchen renovation project gone wrong can cost you a significant amount of money. Some contractors may even take upfront payments and disappear. Consumer protection agencies are often inundated with complaints by homeowners.

Fortunately, these experiences can be avoided by taking preventive steps. Vetting the contractor and desisting from handing over money before remodeling work commences are some of the practical ways to avoid getting ripped off.

It is imperative to exercise caution by following these steps:

Contracts Are Key

Make an effort to request a contract that covers specific details about various aspects of the renovation project. You must peruse the contract thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. A reputable contractor will not object to this requirement. The paperwork should cover items, such as labor costs, start date, payment schedule, materials, taxes and any additional charges that might incur during the course of the renovation project.

Be wary of fake reviews

Unscrupulous companies may post fake reviews online to dupe unsuspecting homeowners. Many consumers make purchasing decisions based on the customer reviews. Misleading information compromises the ability to identify bad contractors. It is common for some firms to drown negative feedback from real customers by paying reviewers to post positive opinions.

For this reason, you should check reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Alternatively, you can rely on recommendations made by family and friends. The BBB website gives companies an opportunity to resolve customer grievances posted on the platform. This allows you to identify reliable businesses.

A Thorough Background Check

Proper business licensing is an absolute necessity when it comes to hiring firms to remodel your bathroom or kitchen. The same applies to any subcontractors involved in the project. You should request proof of insurance, licensing and references. You can verify licenses through the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) website.

Pro tip: use state licensing agency resources to track down disciplinary actions and complaints. You can also screen for legal problems by checking for lawsuits at your county’s district court office – or online.

Additionally, professional remodeling contractors should always have full Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance. This is good criteria for weeding out potential scammers. The insurance protects homeowners in the event of any accidents on the job site. You will receive compensation for any damage to your property.

Additional contractor selection tips

– Check for liens — doing so allows you to uncover past jobs that left the contractor in debt due to poor workmanship

– Schedule payments — avoid making upfront payments but rather release funds based on work phases

– Request a building permit — this ensures the contractor will adhere to local building standards

– Inquire about materials — make sure that your contractor is working with a high quality tile store that provides top notch engineered quartz, marble and granite.

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