How to Hire a Contractor for Home Repairs… Without Creating A Money Pit

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Many of our North Bay clients may be in the process of hiring a contractor for a home repair or remodel. No matter what the job, it is important to make sure you protect your interests through the process. We want to provide you with some basic information that you should consider before you actually hire any North Bay contractor. Remember your North Bay homeowner’s insurance will not cover the liability from the contractor’s negligence.

While most home contractors out there are legitimate and complete quality work, there are some contractors who may not fulfill their promises. No matter how small the job, we always recommend you follow a few simple steps.

Contractor Hiring Tips

  1. Get more than one bid. However, don’t necessarily jump at the lowest bid; our surveys have shown that people who hired the lowest bidder generally got poorer work.
  2. Have an agreement in writing.
  3. Check references. Always ask for, and check out, references of people who have used the contractor. If a contractor provides only email addresses for the references, request telephone numbers, too. For larger jobs you may even ask to view the contractors work.
  4. Check the Better Business Bureau for filed complaints. Usually this can be done on line.
  5. Confirm through the state that the contractor is licensed & insured. Ask for a certificate of insurance. Also request to be named additional insured on the contractor’s policy. The contractor should have the following coverage:
    1. General liability- $1,000,000 minimum
    2. Property damage
    3. Workers’ compensation
  6. Ask for a firm quote. Some contractors will provide only an estimate; you want a FIRM QUOTE.
  7. If you pay by check, write out the check to the contracting company rather than to an individual.
  8. Make final payment only when the work is completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign documents if the job is not finished properly.
  9. Any extra work needs to be put in writing with the costs.
  10. Call our office, we may have references for you to consider.

How Your Homeowner’s Insurance Applies

Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the negligent work of a contractor. If the contractor is injured on your property, your homeowner’s insurance will not apply, unless you are negligent somehow.

North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. provides insurance to construction businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.

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