Dear Sirs: In the aftermath of the recent storms in the area, home repair work is often necessary. Unfortunately, unscrupulous remodelers can take advantage of homeowners in need. There are several important factors to consider in hiring someone to perform repair or remodeling work on your home. Following are some tips from the Newton County Home Builders Association for finding qualified, reputable residential and/or general contractors:
Investigate the reputation and experience of the contractor.
Seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors and co-workers who have had remodeling work done.
Check with the Newton County HBA for names of residential contractor members. Membership in the Home Builders Association indicates a contractor's commitment to professional customer service and quality construction.
Check with your local or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau to find out if any unresolved complaints have been filed against the contractor.
Check with the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors to verify that the contractor has the appropriate license (if required) and a clean record. The state residential or general contractor license is required when the job is more than $2,500; however, consumers are encouraged to seek out licensees even when the repair job is less than $2,500. Consumers can verify that a contractor is properly licensed or file a complaint against a licensed contractor online at: http://sos.georgia.gov/plb.
Request copies of the contractor's insurance certificates to verify that he or she carries insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries.
Don't compare apples to oranges. When evaluating bids from contractors, make sure they are based on identical project specifications.
Be wary of a contractor who asks for a full payment before the job has begun. A payment schedule should be part of your written agreement and may be tied to benchmarks such as completing various phases of the job.
Be wary of a person going door-to-door selling their services.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam or home repair fraud, contact the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection at http://consumer.georgia.gov or (800) 869-1123.
Newton County Home Builders Association