Home Service Professionals

Home Improvement Contractor

Services, costs and hiring best practices - proven tips for getting great Home Improvement Service

January 2014

When hiring and working with a Home Improvement Contractor, every homeowner needs to know: What services does a Home Improvement Contractor commonly provide? What is the best way to find good prospects? What should I look for when I interview the Home Improvement Contractor? And most importantly, how do I make sure that the Home Improvement Service is done right?

Use the following information to understand your options, make good decisions and get quality work at a fair price.

Home Improvement Contractor - FAQ

How do I avoid the scams and get good Home Improvement Service at a fair price?First, decide on ALL product / service options. Compile a list of work and quality requirements (see the next section). Have at least 2 qualified pros complete detailed bids on the work. Use a written contract that ties payment to verifyable results. Download the Home Improvement Contractor Hiring Guide for step-by-step details.
What should I expect to pay for Home Improvement Service?Most Home Improvement Service work is quoted at a fixed price, for specific service(s) or deliverables. The underlying hourly rate for a Home Improvement Contractor ranges from $48 to $71. Usually, a minimum fee will be charged, which represents 1.5 - 2 hours of effort. In some cases, the quoted job price may be negotiable, particularly if other work is performed by the Home Improvement Contractor.
Do I need to use a licensed Home Improvement Contractor for my job? If so - how do I verify license status?A professional Home Improvement Contractor must be licensed to provide most Home Improvement Services. To check a Home Improvement Contractor's license status, search the telephone directory or online for your state's professional license board or department. Contact the licensing authority to verify license standing and history for the business and individual.
Should I use an insured Home Improvement Contractor for my project?Your Home Improvement Contractor should carry adequate liability insurance for work related damages. Your Home Improvement Contractor should also have workman's compensation insurance for job related injury or health risks.
Does my Home Improvement Contractor need to be bonded?A bond will protect the homeowner if the terms of the contract are not met by the Home Improvement Contractor. A bond is recommended for any work over $500. Make sure that your Home Improvement Contractor's bond is valid and that the bond limit will cover the cost of completing or re-doing the work, before any work begins.

Home Improvement Contractor - Services

A Home Improvement Contractor can handle a number of jobs, activities and problems. The list below summarizes common Home Improvement Services. Follow the appropriate links below to learn more about cost, options and quality requirements:

Home Improvement Contractor - Finding and Hiring

Not every Home Improvement Contractor has the same ability. Experience, skills, and sense of acceptable quality vary considerable. To get the results that you expect, it is essential that you put appropriate effort behind finding a Home Improvement Contractor matched to the specific requirements of your job - not simply someone that puts you at ease or wins your confidence. Before starting, make sure that you completely understand the work you want the Home Improvement Contractor to perform and the job quality you expect. Then, begin the selection process outlined below:

Home Improvement Contractor - Important Agreement / Contract Terms

A written agreement greatly improves your odds of success when working with a Home Improvement Contractor. Never start work until you have a complete agreement signed by your Home Improvement Contractor. For small jobs use a written work order. For larger projects, use a detailed contract. Never feel pressured to use the Home Improvement Contractor's standard contract. Make sure the following points are included in the agreement:



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Hiring Best Practices

Home Improvement Contractor Hiring Guide

How to hire a Home Improvement Contractor

Use this notebook ready hiring guide to:

  • Find & hire great help
  • Get fair, complete bids
  • Get quality work
  • Make a strong contract

Download Home Improvement Contractor hiring guide and checklist Download

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