Home Improvement – How to Find a Reputable Contractor
Home improvement is a term used to describe the process of enhancing the physical appearance or functionality of a home. It includes a wide variety of tasks, including remodeling, maintenance, and repairs. Whether you are looking to renovate a house or a garage, it’s important to do your research to ensure you’re hiring a reputable contractor.
Before beginning your project, make a list of what you want to improve. This can help you determine how much money to budget for your work. Then, you can compare estimates from different contractors. Also, consider a payment plan. Some contractors will ask you for a down payment and continue to make incremental payments until the work is complete.
You also need to be sure the contractor is licensed. New York State requires any person engaged in “home improvement” to be licensed. Anyone who does not have a license may face a fine of up to $500 a day. Moreover, the Department of Consumer Affairs will seize vehicles involved in unlicensed activity.
In addition, you should also check for references. Contact neighbors or friends who have worked with the contractor in question. Find out what they thought of the quality of the work, as well as the contractor’s pricing.
Lastly, you should get a written contract. Be sure to include a timeline, payment schedule, and the specific details of the project. A detailed plan can make the renovation process much easier.
If you decide to hire a company, look for a few things: licensure, insurance, and references. Make sure that they have a good reputation in your area. Ask your neighbors about their experience with the contractor and their results.
For homeowners, a home improvement loan can fund many types of repairs, renovations, and upgrades. Typically, you can borrow up to 85% of your home’s equity, and you’ll pay back the loan over five to 30 years. These loans can be secured by your home, or unsecured. They can be for anything from minor repairs to a completely new home.
Home improvement projects are a great way to improve your property’s appearance and function. However, they can also decrease the resale value of your house. To prevent this from happening, be sure to choose a home improvement professional. Having a professional do the work can help you avoid unnecessary hassles. Plus, they can redo the job to match your specifications.
While you’re researching the contractor, make sure to check with the Better Business Bureau. A company with a perfect record with the BBB is a good sign of a trustworthy business.
You should also be aware that the Attorney General can order contractors to pay for damages that have occurred because of illegal practices. Contractors who violate the Payment Protection Act can be fined $250 to $2,500. Similarly, they can be ordered to compensate customers who have been defrauded by a contractor.
Lastly, you can always contact the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to obtain information about the licensing and regulations for home improvement contractors. The Department offers a model Home Improvement Final Contract, as well as a Home Improvement Exam.