Basics for Hiring a Contractor
The key to hiring a contractor, whether it’s a roofing, remodeling or new construction contractor, is to do your homework. The following tips should help you find a reputable and reliable contractor to successfully complete that home renovation or repair.
- Use local established companies. (Beware of the door to door contractor)
- Only hire a contractor that is licensed or can obtain a Contractor License with the City of Thornton. Beware of a contractor that asks you to get the building permit, they may not be licensed.
Note: The City of Thornton requires all contractors to be licensed prior to issuance of a building permit.
Contractor License List
Local Licensed Contractors List
Ask for and check the contractor’s references. Choose a project similar to yours and ask these types of questions of the former client:
- May I visit your home to see the finished project?
- Was the work completed on time and in accordance with the terms of the contract?
- Did workers show up on time?
- Did they keep the project area clean and safe?
- Were there any unexpected costs?
- Did the contractor keep you informed as the project progressed?
- Are you satisfied with the project?
- Would you hire this contractor again?
- Would you recommend the contractor?
- Get several written bids for the project, 3 is the usual number but don’t hesitate to get more if the numbers don’t seem right or they are miles apart.
Don’t always choose the lowest bid, they could be looking to cut corners, use substandard products or make up the difference through change orders.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau, www.denverbbb.org, to see if any complaints have been filed. You can also check a contractors’ status with the Building Inspection Division (303-538-7250).
- Make sure the contractor gets a building permit. This is their responsibility as the project manager and please don’t take their word for it, make them produce the Permit and post the Inspection Card.
Note: If you decide to obtain the permit you become responsible for the entire project including worker’s compensation and builders liability.
- Put everything in writing, including all details and verbal promises, specific materials to be used, start and completion dates, payment schedule and a penalty clause for failure to complete the project on time. Make sure all sections of the contract have been completed. Be sure to include a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases from all suppliers and subcontractors. This will protect you if the contractor fails to pay the bills.
- Make sure the contractor carries liability insurance and workers compensation, this protects you should someone be injured on the project site.
- Never pay in full before the job begins. Always hold back 15 to 20 percent of the total contract price until you are satisfied with the job and all inspections have been approved.
- For more information on hiring a contractor search the web for “How to hire a contractor”.