Best Practices for Hiring Contractors
- Contact the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to verify the contractor is licensed and bonded before asking for bids or entering into any agreements with a contractor.
- Get more than one bid from licensed contractors before making a decision.
- Don’t automatically accept the lowest bid. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials or workmanship. If you get a very low bid, the contractor may have made a mistake or may use cheaper materials than what you have in mind.
- Ask for references. Check with previous customers. Were they satisfied with the work? Was the work completed on time? Did the contractor return phone calls? Learn as much as you can about the contractor before you hire them.
Top 10 Tips for Entering Into Contracts with Contractors
One of the best ways to avoid construction disputes is negotiate and follow a well-written construction contract. Most construction disputes can be traced back to the parties’ failure to write, understand, and follow a well-written contract. Once you have the contract in place, keep a signed copy and all related materials in a safe place in case you have a dispute during or after the project. Well-written construction contracts often include the following:
1. Full name and CCB license number of the general contractor as it appears on the CCB website.
2. Full name of the owner, the job address and contact information such as phone numbers.
3. A detailed description of the scope of construction work.
4. List of specific building materials to be used in the project.
5. Start and completion dates.
6. Total price of the project, including labor and materials, and a payment schedule.
7. List of allowance items (lighting, fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, etc.) and the budgeted amount, if any.
8. List of required permits, including who will be responsible for obtaining them.
9. Agreement that any changes to the contract will only be done upon written “change orders” signed by both the contractor and the homeowner.
10. Signature of both parties to the contract.
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