Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/24/2017

Bad housing contractors have a conscience. It's just that they don't behave as if they have a conscience. A big reason for this has to do with the contractors' focus. Instead of putting you, your family and your house first, bad housing contractors focus on how much money they can make after you give them access to your property.

What happens when you're not your housing contractor's top priority

Money is so important to bad housing contractors that these workers publish ads and seek out customers right after a hurricane, tornado or another natural disaster. Instead of seeing the suffering caused by a severe storm, bad housing contractors see opportunity.

To safeguard yourself from bad housing contractors, you have to be alert. And you can't just be alert right after a severe storm, the type of storm that causes millions of dollars of damage in a town over the matter of a few days.

You have to be alert year round and in all situations. Specific safeguards from bad housing contractors starts with a simple search. You can conduct this search online.Simply log into your local licensing department's website.

Confirm that housing contractors you want to work with have an active license. Look to see if there are any complaints against the contractor. Also, check to see if the contractor has had a lapse in her contract.

More safeguards from bad housing contractors

Make sure that housing contractors have a license for the type of work that they will be performing at your house. For example, contractors who you pay to repair or replace plumbing fixtures should have an active plumbing license. Before performing electrical or wiring work, electricians should have an active electrician's license.

Other safeguards from bad housing contractors include:

  • Thoroughly reviewing legal agreements before contractors start working on your property
  • Speaking up on points in legal agreements that you don't feel comfortable adhering to (Don't be intimidated by strong willed housing contractors. Remember that housing contractors are working for you.)
  • Seeking referrals on licensed contractors. Don't rely on the fact that contractors are licensed. Check to see how satisfied customers are with contractors' work.
  • Asking contractors about the process that they follow when preparing to perform work and while they work. Also, find out about the process that housing contractors use to clean up after they finish making renovations or repairs at a property.
  • Putting valuables in a safe place to avoid having the valuables get damaged by paint or other materials or equipment.
  • Ensuring that contractors stick to work schedules so that you don't end up paying more for a job than you had budgeted for.

Safeguards from bad housing contractors come with far reaching effects. Not only do the safeguards protect you from overpaying for repairs or renovations, these safeguards protect you during other business situations. The first step alone teaches you how to review legal documents, experience that you can use in other work negotiations.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 9/18/2016

If you're in the process of trying to find a dependable contractor for a home improvement project, there are several steps you can take to ensure a positive outcome. Since clear and frequent communication is the foundation of any successful relationship with a contractor, knowing what questions to ask can make all the difference. Here are some general guidelines for screening potential contractors and determining which one would be the best match for your budget, your home improvement needs, and your personality. Not only is it important that the contractor be experienced, dependable, and conscientious, but it's also crucial that they're easy to work with and customer service oriented. If they're too abrasive or don't seem genuinely interested in ensuring your satisfaction, then you'd probably be better off looking elsewhere. Being competitively priced is also very important. Questions to Ask Contractors Although each situation is different when dealing with home builders, handymen, or home improvement contractors, here's a list of questions that would apply to most companies:

  1. "How long have you been in business?" One of your top priorities is to avoid fly-by-night operations that are in business today, and nowhere to be found, next week. Longevity in business is usually a sign that the contractor is conscientious about customer satisfaction, that they care about doing good quality work, and that they're in compliance with the legal requirements of running a contracting business. It's certainly not a guarantee of any of those things, but it's a good starting point in evaluating their qualifications.
  2. "Would you provide me with some recent customer references -- preferably ones who had the same type of work done as what I'm planning." If the contractor balks at this, then they may have something to hide -- like a trail of dissatisfied customers or a just a lack of customers. The ideal scenario, of course, is to get a contractor recommendation from a trusted family member, a friend, or a neighbor. When that isn't possible, a brief telephone conversation with a couple current or past customers of a contractor you're considering can provide a lot of insights into key factors like timeliness, professionalism, the quality of their work, whether they leave their work site clean, and their level of customer service and communication. By the way, one online source for neighbor recommendations is a social networking site called Nextdoor.com.
  3. "What type of insurance do you have?" If they're not current on their personal liability insurance, Workers' Compensation, and property damage insurance coverage, then you could potentially be liable for any injuries and damage that take place on your property during the project. However, reputable contracting companies recognize the importance of carrying the necessary types of contractor insurance, and they make it their business to keep those policies current and up to date. As a side note, it's also wise to find out if there will be any subcontractors working on the job, and if they also have the required licenses and insurance coverage. Asking for copies of insurance certificates is generally the only way to make sure the needed coverage is in place.
While many home improvement or construction projects come with their share of frustrations, setbacks, and minor headaches, if you take the time to screen and compare potential home contractors, your chances of getting the best value for your money and the highest possible quality will be greatly increased.