Hire Licensed & Insured Contractors for Building or Remodeling
Homeowners: Hiring an unlicensed contractor is usually more expensive, time-consuming and stressful. Unlicensed contractors do not know the proper procedures and techniques. Homeowners find themselves looking for someone to fix a job that has gone wrong. Satisfaction can be hard to gain when dealing with unlicensed contractors. The Department of Licensing and Regulation can only prosecute them for not being licensed, and they are not members of professional organizations which have the power to influence and educate them. Unlicensed contractors often do not finish the job. When you are selecting a contractor for home improvements, be sure to do the following steps:
1. Ask the contractor for proof of worker's compensation and general liability insurance; in case of an accident, the homeowner, not the contractor, could be liable if the contractor does not carry insurance.
2. Be skeptical of an unlicensed low bidder, or any very low advertised price. If a contractor cannot pay for materials, labor or overhead, you are both in trouble.
3. No two remodelers will do a job exactly the same way. Be as specific as possible and ask the contractor to specify the materials and brand names on which they are basing their quote.
4. Ask the contractor to furnish you with names of previous customers, and follow up on them. Would they be willing to hire this contractor again? How long ago was the job done? Have they done a job similar to that of which you are asking? Are they qualified?
5. Don't ever pull the building permit for any contractor, because then the responsibility for the job is yours. It is important for you to verify that your builder has the licenses and permits required to build in your city or township, and is properly insured according to Michigan's regulations.
Home Builders Association of West Michigan webpage.
For more Home Improvement information and a comprehensive listing of building contractors visit our Home And Garden Living website.