Every year thousands of homeowners file complaints with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs about contractors they hire to do remodeling in their home. The homeowners aren’t happy with their remodeling results, complaining about poor quality, incomplete work, and installation deadlines not being met.
Since May is such a popular time of the year to start home remodeling projects, it has been designated National Remodeling Month. We want to help homeowners who are considering a remodeling project to know how to choose a quality contractor and avoid choosing a bad contractor and having a nightmare remodeling project.
TIPS FOR HOMEOWNERS – From the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs
- Contact Consumer Affairs to see if consumers have filed any complaints against the contractor and to ensure the contractor is registered.
- Get written estimates from at least three contractors. Ask the contractors how long they have been in business, if they have liability insurance (as required
by law), and whether they will be using subcontractors on the project
- Contact the references your contractor gives you. Ask them whether the job was completed on time, whether there were any unexpected costs, whether the workers showed up on time and cleaned up when they finished, and whether they would use the contractor again.
- Ask your contractor about his or her professional affiliations and confirm the information with those organizations.
- Investigate financing options for your project. Shop for credit and be sure you understand the annual percentage rate you will have to pay.
- Do not pay for the entire job up front. The customary arrangement is one-third in advance, one-third halfway through the job and one-third upon completion. Do not pay with cash.
- Obtain a written contract. Contracts for home improvement projects costing $500 or more must be written and must include the legal name and business address of the contractor as well as a start date, a completion date, a description of the work to be done, and the total price. The contract must also include the contractor’s registration number. The contractor must also provide you with a copy of his commercial general liability insurance and the telephone number of the insurance certificate.
- Make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing, and that the contract states name brands or quality/grades of materials to be used.
- Before you sign a contract, ask for a lien waiver. A lien waiver is a receipt that states that the workers and material suppliers will not ask you for money once you have paid the contractor.
- Signed contracts may be canceled by a consumer for any reason before midnight of the third business day after you receive a copy of the contract.
- Ensure that all applicable construction permits are obtained from the local municipality.
- Final inspections must be completed BEFORE final payment is made to the contractor.
Cipriani Remodeling Solutions has been in the South Jersey area for over 40 years working with homeowners to help them make informed decisions. We want you to get the most value out of your remodel and have the best possible experience. We are your trusted advisors pointing out potential pitfalls that other contractors may not even notice.
We know your remodeling project is a big decision. We want you to feel safe and comfortable with all the decisions that you need to make. We will be there to hold your hand and walk with you through the entire process. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re working with the right company and that your project will be done the right way.