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Consumer help

Avoid these mistakes

Not checking a contractor’s license

A license is required for any construction business that advertises, offers, bids, arranges for, or performs any construction, alteration, home improvement, remodeling or repair work. You lose the ability to recover damages through a bond and get CCB help mediating a dispute  if you use an unlicensed contractor.

No written contract 

A written contract protects you and the contractor. Construction agreements for more than $2,000 must be in writing. The CCB recommends that all agreements, including all changes to the contract, be in writing.

Not getting more than one bid/automatically accepting the lowest bid 

Getting more than one bid can help you get a feel for what your project should cost. The old saying “you get what you pay for” generally applies here. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability.

Not checking references

Check with previous customers. Were they satisfied with the work? Was the work finished within a reasonable time? Did the contractor return phone calls? If the person had problems with the contractor, ask how the contractor responded. Look at examples of the contractor’s work.

Not doing your homework

Plan your project carefully. Consider your budget. Find pictures of styles and products you like. Write down brand names and models. Show them to your contractor. High-quality faucets or ivory paint may mean something different to you and your contractor. Walk with your builder through a finished project and explain what you like and don’t like. Get accurate plans or blueprints and make sure they show your project accurately.