Learning Center

Hiring the Right Contractor

Contractor talking with homeowner

Keep these tips in mind when choosing a contractor for your building or remodeling project.

Your home isn't just a house, it's the center of your world. Unfortunately, things sometimes break or need to be upgraded. When that happens, you may need to call in a professional. Whether you're remodeling a room, putting on an addition or replacing a hot water heater, you're going to need the services of a building contractor.

Finding the right contractor can be a challenge. You want someone you can conformably work with and someone you're not afraid to have in your home. Before hiring someone to work on your home, read these suggestions for finding the perfect contractor (or subcontractor).

  • Get recommendations from friends or family.
  • Ask the contractor for references.
  • Verify any required licensing and/or bonding.
  • Verify the contractor has general liability, property and Workers Compensation Insurance.
  • Verify the contractor (and any sub-contractors) have all applicable, up-to-date state business filings.
  • Conduct a criminal background and sex offender check on the contractor and any subcontractor(s).
  • Check if the contractor has financial problems.
  • Check for any civil judgments against the contractor.
  • Check if there are any liens against the contractor.

Once you have narrowed your list of candidates, you'll want to ask them some questions about their business, what experience they have and their style of work. Knowing what to ask can be difficult. To get you started, the Federal Trade Commission offers a list of questions you should ask.

Finally, keep in mind that any work done on your home may increase its value. When this occurs, you'll want to make sure you update your homeowners insurance to reflect these changes.

For more information about how remodeling can affect your homeowners insurance, contact your local American Family Insurance agent.

These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner's duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.

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