After You Hire a Contractor

After You Hire a Contractor

Keep Records

Keep all paperwork related to your project in one place. This includes:

  • copies of the contract
  • change orders
  • any correspondence with your home improvement professionals
  • a record of all payments. You may need receipts for tax purposes.

Keep a log or journal of all phone calls, conversations, and activities. You also might want to take photographs as the job progresses. These records are especially important after you hire a contractor should you have problems with your project — during or after construction.

Pay Wisely

Don’t make the final payment or sign an affidavit of final release until you’re satisfied

Besides being satisfied with the work, you also need to know that subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. Laws in your state might allow them to file a mechanic’s lien against your home to satisfy their unpaid bills, forcing you to sell your home to pay them. After you hire a contractor, protect yourself by asking the contractor, and every subcontractor and supplier, for a lien release or lien waiver.

Know the limit for the final bill

Some state or local laws limit the amount by which the final bill can exceed the estimate, unless you have approved the increase.

Know when you can withhold payment

If you have a problem with merchandise or services charged to a credit card, and you’ve made a good faith effort to work out the problem with the seller, you have the right to contact your credit card company and withhold payment from the card issuer for the merchandise or services. You can withhold payment up to the amount of credit outstanding for the purchase, plus any finance or related charges.

Use a Sign-Off Checklist

Before you sign off and make the final payment, check that:

  • all work meets the standards spelled out in the contract
  • you have written warranties for materials and workmanship
  • you have proof that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid
  • the job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess materials, tools, and equipment
  • you have inspected and approved the completed work

for more information on “After You Hire a Contractor” please refer to:
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor

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