Consumers have rights and responsibilities in the marketplace!
Tips for Consumers
- Know the exact work you want done
Never agree to get work done on the spot. Decide what improvements you want then seek out a qualified contractor.
- Job estimates
Get estimates, including specific information about the materials and services to be provided, from several contractors.
- Ask for references
Always contact the references provided and ask the following questions:
- Can I visit your home and see the work the contractor did?
- Did the contractor keep you updated throughout the job?
- Were the workers on time?
- Would you use this contractor again?
- Get a written contract
Insist on a detailed contract, in writing, signed by the contractor.
- Do not pay unreasonable advances
Set up a payment schedule that corresponds with specific stages of the job. All money paid in advance is required to be placed in an escrow account.
- Keep Records
- Keep all paper work, including copies of insurance certificates.
- Keep a log to document calls and conversations with the contractor.
- Keep a journal of activities including payments.
The Completed Project
Before making your last payment, check the work for the following:
- The work meets the specifications of the contract;
- The contractor has provided you with written warranties for the materials and workmanship;
- The contractor shows you proof that the sub-contractors and supplies are paid for;
- The work area has been cleaned;
- You are fully satisfied with the completed job.
Home Improvement Contracts
Home improvement contracts must be:
- Understood by the consumer;
- Given to the consumer before the work begins.
The contract must contain:
- The contractor’s name, address and a permanent telephone number;
- The approximate start and completion dates;
- Specific description of the work materials;
- Notice of three day cancellation;
- Payment schedule.
The contract should contain:
- All oral promises should be written into the contract; and
- A broom clause (makes the contractor responsible for cleaning up when the job is completed).