CONSUMER ALERT / TIPS: Before Hiring a Contractor


CONSUMER ALERT / TIPS: Before Hiring a Contractor

Obtain at least three bids and compare them. Make sure the contractor’s bid specifies the materials to be used, price per square foot, amount of square foot in the quote, etc. Keep in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best.

Find out who will be doing the actual work – the contractor’s employees or subcontractors. If the firm uses sub-contractors for some of their work, you will need to research both the reputation of the sub-contractor as well as the contractor. You also want to determine who will be responsible for problems down the road. Issues such as these should be resolved before construction begins.

Do not be pressured into signing a contract right away. Take your time and review the contract carefully. If you do not understand the contract, do not sign it!

Make sure all warranties for labor and materials are in a written contract which must include your rights as a consumer.

There are many contractors in this business who create beautiful and innovative designs and execute them flawlessly. Unfortunately there are infinitely more companies, some that have been in business for many years, that fall into the categories we’ve mentioned here. These companies will continue to survive and thrive on the uninformed and trusting consumer. Don’t be the next victim! Do your homework before you hire a contractor. Check references, check the Better Business Bureau and check contractor’s accreditation. Make sure your contractor has insurance in case damage is done to your home and check that they pay into Workman’s Compensation. You, as the homeowner, are the project owner and are responsible for the safety of workers on your site.

Remember, what these companies do is nothing short of CRIMINAL! They may not end up behind bars, but the more consumers are informed, the more likely these disreputable companies will end up out of business.

Interlock installation is a lot more involved than most people think. The paving stones we all see —and admire — are actually the final “dressing” or surface, which give no hint whatsoever to all the invisible preparation and expertise that goes into the work. Aside from a proper base, the most important part of any interlocking stone project is proper grade and adequate drainage.

Pooling or stagnant water is anathema to the paving industry. Particularly in our climate, its freeze-thaw action can lift and destroy paving. Therefore, when you’re considering paving your drive or patio, ensure the contractors plan your site with drainage clearly in mind.
Experts believe that the right landscaping can add as much as 20% to your home’s value. It’s what sets a house apart, since most people are planning to renovate when they move in anyway. An eye-catching front, in particular, can help sell your house quicker.


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