Choose Your Contractor Wisely

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Home Improvement

Now that you have given your Barrington area home a thorough inspection, it’s time to decide what you can repair, replace, or remodel yourself, and what needs to be done by a professional. Once you decide on which project to tackle first, if you need a professional, there are some precautions you need to follow to protect your home, your liability, and your pocketbook.

Choosing a contractor for work on your property isn’t always an easy task. You want to check on more than one, and with each one you interview, ask for references. Try to examine some work done by them. You could even check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against them. There are ways of checking online, also.

Once you have selected a contractor, even if you trust the person, don’t just rely on a verbal agreement. Get things in writing. In fact, some experts go beyond that. They suggest refusing the one or two page usual contract that legally binds you, but gives very little oversight to the contractor’s fulfillment. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has a document that is available to non-members for a small fee. It is #A107, entitled, “Abbreviated Owner-Contract Agreement Form For Small Construction Contracts”.

Whether you choose the above mentioned, or another contract, anything you sign should be carefully worded. For instance, it’s a good practice to schedule the payment agreement so that at least 15% of the total cost is withheld until the job is finished. The reasons for this are pretty obvious, and need not be listed here. Another item that is self-explanatory is a scheduled completion agreement, with a penalty for the contractor for every day over the estimated time of completion.

The exact terms of liability for any injuries by workers should be spelled out, and there should be proof that the contractor has adequate coverage for such events. You should also check with your insurance company to see what sort of coverage you have.

There are other items covered in the contract mentioned above, but space doesn’t allow for a thorough treatment of all of them. One thing that is important is that, before you make the final payment, be sure you have in your hands a signed statement that releases all mechanical liens. This means that the general contractor and each of the subcontractors sign a release-of-liens form. It is not unheard of that the general contractor will fail to pay the subcontractors, and if they haven’t signed this form, they may place a lien on your property.

If you are readying your home for sale, or if you are looking for a home to buy in the Barrington area, please call me, Dean Tubekis at (874) 809-8070, or come by our office at 530 South Hough St., Barrington, IL 60010. Feel free to browse my website, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I can help you with all of your real estate needs!


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