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Selecting a Contractor

Wyeth Woodworking and Remodeling is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which requires its members to embody the core values it was built on:

Professional: Ethical and honest; committed to high standards
Open: Diverse and respectful; inclusive of many views and dedicated to free expression
Progressive: Informed and knowledgeable; resourceful and flexible
Member Focused: Focused on the importance of success, return on investment and profit lives

Selecting a qualified construction and remodeling professional is not difficult, but it takes research and discernment on your part. Many states require contractors to be bonded or licensed.  Contact your state or local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor you’re selecting meetings all requirements of the state regulatory bureaus. Ask your contractor for a copy of his or her license. Make sure you check with the Better Business Bureau to confirm that there are no complaints against this particular contractor.

What is the best way to find a contractor? Speak with those whom you trust: relatives, friends, neighbors, or business colleagues. Monitor contractor signs in surrounds neighborhoods. Do you like what you see?  Ask potential contractors for samples of their work—pictures and/or potential walk-throughs.

Is your contractor insured? Ask to see a copy of the certification of insurance, write down the name of the insurance agency and call to verify. In addition, ask the contractor's carrier for a copy of their Insurance Accord.  This may be one of the most important steps in choosing a contractor.  Many states require contractors to carry worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance. However, many states do not require contractors to carry insurance which then leaves the owner financially responsible in the event that an accident occurs.

Only work with a contractor who not only meets the minimum state requirements, but also goes above and beyond. Wyeth Woodworking and Remodeling doesn’t take insurance too seriously. We make sure our contractors and subcontractors are insured and bonded.

Ask your contractor the following questions:

  1. 1.  Do you have employees or do you use subcontractors? 
    2.  What kind of experience do your employees or subcontractors have at this type of work?
    3.  How long have they worked for you?

If the answer is they have employees, then ask the insurance company for a copy of their worker's compensation certificate.  If the answer is they use sub-contractors, then ask contractor for the name and telephone number of the company and call to verify their liability insurance.  Chances are if the contractor is not properly insured, then the sub-contractors that they work with are not as well.

When looking for a contractor, look locally. Find a contractor that is established in your community, and doesn’t just have satellite offices in your area. A locally established company has stock in the community and standards for its surroundings.  We live where you live. We want you to enjoy the community as much as we do. So always get the address of the contractor office and a land telephone number. Never give a deposit to a contractor with only a cell phone number to reach them.

Make sure you understand the scope of the estimate you get and that the contract is comprehensive and well written.  Do you understand every part of the contract? Is the contractor’s name, address and phone number plainly printed on the contract? Is the license number visible? Are the start and completion dates as agreed upon in your consultation? Are you liable for materials or supplies? Go over every detail. If you have a payment schedule, ensure that it is adequately outlined in the contract. Federal law requires all contractors to provide you with two copies of the signed contract along with a three day right to cancel the contract and receive your deposit returned in full.

Go on the NARI website for more information on finding a reliable contractor, design firm or remodeling group: www.nari.org

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