Looking To Renovate Your Home? Protect Yourself Against Liability and Avoid a Potential Nightmare.
Home renovation results can be wonderful, but the process can be a nightmare. When you have work contracted with a home improvement specialist that requires tearing apart walls and engaging in potentially hazardous activities like climbing ladders or electrical work, you increase the chances for something not to go as planned.
Some protentional dangerous situations that may occur include abandonment of projects mid-stride, uninsured property loss, theft, accidental or fabricated workplace injuries, fires, flooding, or weather-related damage while your home’s structure is in a vulnerable state due to the constructions work.
Keep These Valuable Tips in Mind Before Hiring a Home Contractor
Research, Research, and More Research!
Thoroughly research vendors online by checking with the Better Business Bureau and major review sites like Google Reviews and Angie’s List. Try to get more than a few referrals from friends, family, and neighbors that have used the same contractor you are looking to hire. If your state requires residential contractor licensing, check to see if any complaints have been filed against the contractor you are thinking of hiring.
Check to See If You Need a City Permit
Before you begin an addition to your home or any significant improvement, check to make sure you follow your city and county requirements.
Make Sure Your Assets Are Protected
Verify that contractors are licensed and bonded for damage/theft protection and have liability/worker’s compensation insurance. Also, check your homeowner's liability coverage. Your homeowner's policy will usually have general liability insurance, but usually not more than $500,000. This is not usually sufficient general liability coverage to protect you. Your protection in place should equal your current net worth plus the net present value of expected future income. At a minimum, you should have enough to protect your investable net worth.
Obtain More Than One Estimate
Get written estimates from more than one contractor to make sure you are getting a fair price. You can also learn a lot from the estimate process. Each contractor may offer you different ways to tackle the project. It is good to have options and learn more about what options are possible.
Never assume the lowest bidder is the best choice. You could end up spending more money using a contractor that offers the lowest price if the work is botched or not up to standards. Correcting mistakes can cost you more in the long run.
Ask For a Written Contract
Even if your state doesn’t require a contract, insist on getting a contract.
Know Your Payment Options
Pay by check or credit card—never cash.
If needed, arrange for your own financing through a financial institution you trust.
Limit Your Down Payment
Some state laws limit the down payment amount that can be requested, so check the requirements in your area.
Stagger Payments Based on Completion of Work
This helps to ensure that if the work is delayed, your payments will be, too.
Remember We Are Here to Help!
At Mapp, Mapp, and Klein., we are available for FREE consultations on insurance coverage, personal injury matters, and more! We provide personalized attention to all of our clients, and our attorneys are involved in every level of your case and are always accessible to the client.
Contact us today at 757-787-8900 for the best legal services and help to protect your largest investment, your home. We look forward to serving and working with you!