Twelve Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Contractor
You can avoid hassles, headaches, surprises, disappointments, and potentially costly legal troubles by making sure that you have asked and answered the following twelve questions prior to hiring a contractor:
- Did you contact the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) online to research the contractor or did you call the CSLB for status information at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752)?
- Did you obtain at least three local references from the contractors you are considering?
- Did you call the contractor and see prior work they had done?
- Does the contract require the contractor to obtain any needed permits before the work starts?
- Are the permit fees included in the contract?
- Did you read and do you understand your contract?
- Does the three day right to cancel the contract apply to you?
- Does the contract tell you when work will start and end?
- Does the contract include a detailed description of the work to be done, the materials to be used, and equipment to be installed?
- If you are making a down payment, did you make sure that it is no more than 10% of the total contract price or $1,000, whichever is less?
- Is there a schedule of payments? If there is, you should pay only as work is completed and not before.
- Did your contractor give you a "Notice to Owner," a warning notice describing liens and ways to avoid them?