How to Find a Good Home Improvement Contractor
Whether it’s a simple repair or a major upgrade, home improvement projects can make your home more enjoyable or safer. They can also increase its value. But before you start, you’ll want to do some research. Read on to learn what makes a good contractor, how to find one, and what you should know about home improvement contracts.
The most popular home improvement categories are renovations and landscaping. While these may seem like simple jobs, many homeowners plan to take on more complex projects in the near future. That includes building a patio, fixing a deck, and putting up a fence. The number of people doing these tasks has grown dramatically. For example, in July, the number of new decks built was 275% higher than in March.
The best way to go about finding a good contractor is to look for a licensed one. You can check with your state’s department of consumer affairs to make sure a company is licensed to work on your property. In some states, it’s a misdemeanor to work on a home without a license, which can result in penalties of $500 or more.
You’ll also need to be sure your contractor has insurance and references to back him up. You can ask a neighbor who has had a good experience with the company you’re considering.
Another good idea is to compare pricing from several contractors. You’ll want to be sure to get a written contract with details about the project, a payment schedule, and a timeline. A written contract can help you avoid any surprises. If the contractor you choose fails to meet your expectations, you can sue for actual damages or reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Homeowners who plan to do some work themselves will have to be licensed in New York City, Westchester County, and Suffolk County. In addition, you’ll need to be aware of the state’s Home Improvement Contract Law. You’ll need to have a written contract in order to obtain a permit to complete a home improvement project. This can be done by completing Form ST-124, Certificate of Capital Improvement. You’ll also need to keep the records for a minimum of three years.
Finally, be sure to check with your local building codes office to see if the projects you want to do will require permits. In some states, home improvements are exempt from the labor tax. However, you will need to pay sales tax on the materials you purchase. That means you won’t have any money left over to spend on other items.
While a large part of the grey market is unlicensed, there are some legitimate associations and companies that are accredited. For example, Greg Home Improvement is a licensed, insured, and bonded business with a stellar record with the Better Business Bureau.
A survey conducted by Minneapolis marketing firm Axiom found that the biggest home improvement projects in 2021 will involve work outside the house. In fact, 44 percent of respondents say they plan to do more complicated projects in 2021.