License: Request to see a copy of the license that qualifies them to perform the intended work. Moreover, call the licensing body within your state or municipality and verify that the license is current and if there are any past or pending complaints.
Insurance: Request to see a copy of both the company’s General Liability policy as well as their Worker’s Compensation policy (if required). To further verify that these policies are in effect, contact their respective insurance carriers. It is also a good idea to have a certificate of insurance issued in your name to cover your home and property.
References: Ask the company to provide at least three recent references (within the past 12 month period) that had work similar to the work you are planning to have done. Pick up the phone and call each of them, or better yet, ask if you can go visit them at their home to see firsthand the completed project. Your local Better Business Bureau is also an excellent place to view past complaints on a business and see their current rating.
Written Agreement: After discussing your project with the prospective contractor, but before actually hiring, you will want to document the scope of work in writing. That way there will be no confusion as to the work to be performed.
Lien Waiver: Before hiring ask the contractor if a lien release or lien waiver is provided on their work. Be certain to collect a lien release or lien waiver for the work on your home when it is finished and you have paid the contractor in-full. This ensures that all materials and subcontractors have been paid as part of your project and lien with not be placed on your property.
In summary, take the time to review and cross check anyone that you intend to hire and work on your home. That extra time researching your potential contractor can alleviate confusion during the construction process and will give you piece of mind.
From Porch Stories