THE HONEST BROKER: HOME REPAIRS
Home owners find out that the need for repairs, contractors or normal maintenance can create a great deal of frustration and anxiety. The decisions of “who to choose”, “the estimates of cost”, “timeline and availability” are very stressful. Over the years of personal homeownership and aiding others with these decisions I have definite ideas of how to proceed with as little stress as possible.
Interview for the Job:
Websites such as; Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. can be helpful, but I would highly recommend that you ask for referrals by others who have already had experiences with local contractors. Your best inclination of whether you will ultimately be happy is by asking others if they were happy and satisfied within the process or would they choose someone different if they had to do it all over again. Was the contractor timely in returning phone messages and answering questions? Did the contractor meet their expectations or renege on promises, lack quality control over the workmen once the job was awarded? I would also recommend interviewing at least 3 contractors and ask for referrals from previous jobs.
Get a Written Estimate:
Have the estimate in writing with as much clarity as possible. The estimate should include labor cost; flat rate or hourly rate; supply cost and ask if they will be placing a “Notice of Commencement” on the property to secure payment. When the job is completed, follow up with the contractor for them to remove their NOC. It is also important for the homeowner to make sure that the supplies are paid in full BEFORE you provide a final check. There are unscrupulous contractors that will not pay their suppliers and the homeowner then becomes responsible for the payment. This third party can place a “contractor’s” lean on your property.
Timeline and Availability:
The estimate should have starting and completion dates if accepted and a discussion of any penalty that may be assessed if there is a delay for completion on the contractor’s behalf. When can they begin? How long will the job take to complete? What is your recourse if they don’t meet the completion date? All these things should be discussed so that you enter into the agreement with eyes open and with as little loose ends as possible.
Diane Lott, Broker
Owner: Paradise Found Realty
Paradise Found Realty, Inc. of Palm City
Sign up for alerts and daily digests- free all the time- www.treasurecoast.com