According to NARI of Idaho, these are some warning signs to watch out for while interviewing your remodeler.
Avoid remodelers at all costs when:
- You can’t verify the name, address, telephone number or credentials of the remodeler.
- The salesperson tries to pressure you into signing a contract.
- The company or salesperson says your home will be used for advertising purposes so you will be given a “special, low rate.”
- The builder/remodeler tells you a special price is available only if you sign the contract “today.”
- No references are furnished.
- Information you receive from the contractor is out-of-date or no longer valid.
- You are unable to verify the license or insurance information.
- You are asked to pay for the entire job in advance, or to pay in cash to a salesperson instead of by check or money order to the company itself.
- The company cannot be found in the telephone book, is not listed with the local Better Business Bureau, or with a local trade association, such as NARI.
- The contractor does not offer, inform or extend notice of your right to cancel the contract within three days. Notification in writing of your Right of Rescission is required by law. This grace period allows you to change your mind and declare the contract null and void without penalty (if the agreement was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premises-in your home, for instance.)
In addition, be cautious when:
- You are given vague or reluctant answers.
- The contractor exhibits poor communication skills or descriptive powers.
- The contractor is not accessible.
- Your questions are not answered to your satisfaction.
- The contractor is impatient and does not listen.
- Only the work is addressed, instead of your needs as the homeowner.
- There is no presentation book of previous projects presented.
Questions to ask references:
To protect yourself, always check the contractor’s references. This is an essential stage of qualifying the right person for your project. Here are just a few questions to ask previous customers:
- Could they communicate well with the remodeler?
- Were they pleased with the quality of work? (This is a tough question, however, since everyone defines “quality” differently. It is much better to ask to see the completed project to determine the level of quality for yourself.)
- Were they satisfied with the remodeler’s business practices?
- Did the crew show up on time?
- Were they comfortable with the trades people the remodeler subcontracted to?
- Was the job completed on schedule?
- Did the remodeler fulfill his or her contract?
- Did the contractor stay in touch throughout the project?
- Were the final details finished in a timely manner?
- Would you use the remodeler again without hesitation?