Tips for Home Improvement - Hiring Contractors

Hire Only Licensed Contractors. Check a contractor’s license number online.

Do Your Homework! It’s a smart idea to get at least three bids from different contractors.

See the Results! Get three references from each bidder and take the time to visit and review past work in person.

Get it in Writing! Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the terms.

Are They Covered? Confirm that the contractor has workers’ compensation insurance for his or her employees.

How Much Up Front? Never pay more than 10% down or $1,000, whichever is less. Don’t pay in cash and never let payments get ahead of the work.

You’re the Boss! It’s a good idea to keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments.

Pay for What You Get! Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the job. Final payments mean just that! It’s done.

Finding a Contractor

Always take the time to evaluate the contractor who may be doing the job.

Talk to building officials. Be particularly cautious when selecting a contractor to repair your chimney. Not everyone is qualified to repair or rebuild a chimney. It takes specialized skill and training.

The State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) recommends the following steps when hiring a contractor:

Additional information to consider: