CHARLOTTE, NC – With all the recent rain, the Charlotte Better Business Bureau has issued the following advice when hiring a contractor.
- Track record – Check out a company’s BBB rating and complaint history at www.bbb.org. It’s fast, easy and free. You can also call the BBB at (704) 927-8611 or 1-877-317-7236, toll-free in N.C. and S.C. Customer service operators are available, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding 12-1 p.m. for lunch).
- Cost comparisons - Get at least three bids in writing and be sure you compare the bids based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time.
- Licensing - Check to see if the company you plan to hire has the proper licensing.
- N.C. General Contractors Licensing Board, click on Licensee Search
- S.C. Contractors Licensing Board, click on Licensee Lookup
- Insurance - Verify the company’s liability insurance to protect you against damage. You can also check with the department of insurance in your state.
- N.C. Dept. of Insurance - 1-800-546-5664 toll-free from N.C.
- S.C. Dept. of Insurance - 803-737-6180 or 1-800-768-3467 toll free from S.C.
- References – Ask for references from the company’s last three jobs and check them out before you sign a contract.
- Written contract - Do not permit work to start without a signed, written contract that includes start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
Deposit required and payment – do not pay more than 25 to 33 percent of the total job cost as a deposit. Final payment should not be due until the job is completed. Do not pay in cash; pay by check or credit card.
- Warranty – Get warranty information in writing on products and installation. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
- Bonding – Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft or additional damage.
- Criminal history – Check out anyone you allow into your home to see if they have a criminal history