Never hire a contractor without first taking the following steps, according to the League of homeowners:
- If your state has a licensing board for contractors, call them. And ask the board if there are any outstanding complaints against that license holder.
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file.
- When interviewing, ask prospects about their worker's compensation insurance.
- Get the policy number and phone number of the insurance carrier. Call to be sure the contractor is covered. if he or she is not, any work-related injury on your property could become a liability to you.
- Check to see that the contractor has an umbrella general liability policy.
- Always ask for references.
- Always take the time to call and verify them.
- Do not give in to pressure to make a decision. Believe it or not, there are more contractors than there is work to be done. If a contractor insists that you make a quick decision, move on to someone else.
- Never pay a deposit to a contractor. If you are asked to pay a deposit fee at the first meeting, simply end the meeting.