Choosing a Home Improvement Contractor
Having a home improvement project done can be a great way to improve the value of your home. However, it’s important to know how to choose a contractor and what to expect from them. When choosing a contractor, ask for references from past customers and make sure they are insured.
To ensure that your project is completed correctly and safely, you should contact the local building codes office and review the current code for your area. You should also consult an architect or engineer to develop a detailed plan. This will help you to identify any potential problems and get a firm price for your project. You should also find out how long the project will take and compare the proposed timeline from several contractors.
Home improvements can be expensive. To minimize the cost of the project, consider borrowing a home equity line of credit to finance your project. This is like a second mortgage, but it allows you to borrow up to 85% of the value of your home. It also has a fixed interest rate, and your payments are secured by the equity in your home.
Whether you’re planning a major remodeling or a minor upgrade, a home equity loan can help you make it happen. You can use it for a new appliance or paint job, and many credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR for a year. During this time, you can make no interest payments.
For home improvement projects that involve repairs and maintenance, government-issued home improvement loans are available. The requirements for these loans vary from state to state. These loans can be used to make your home more energy efficient, improve the livability of your home, or add extra features. These loans can be unsecured or secured, and are repayable over five to 30 years.
While some contractors are reputable, others are unlicensed or have poor business practices. The law in New York requires all contractors performing home improvements to have a license. If you’re unsure whether the contractor has a license, check with the Department of Consumer Affairs. They have seized vehicles in the past for performing home improvements without a license. Those companies are subject to fines.
If you do decide to use a contractor, be sure to establish a payment schedule. This may include an initial down payment, and incremental payments until the work is finished. You should also request a written contract that contains all of the details of the work to be done. You should also obtain an escrow account, which can be used only for the purpose of the project until it’s substantially complete.
If you’re hiring a licensed contractor, be sure to make a thorough list of the items you need. This will help you to weed out unscrupulous contractors. The contractor will also need to have insurance and a license. You can check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if a contractor has a good reputation. You can also ask friends and family if they’ve used the contractor.