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How to Choose a Remodeler

How to Choose a Remodeler

What to be wary of when looking for a contractor and a list of items to keep in mind when hiring a contractor or remodeler.

Be wary of contractors who:

  • Provide credentials or references that can’t be verified.Offer a special price only if you sign today or use other high-pressure sales techniques.
  • Accept only cash, require large deposits or the entire cost up front or ask you to make the payment in their name.
  • Do not provide a written contract or complete bid.As you to pick up the building permit. In most instances, the contractor is required to take out the permits. Permits are your protection and help ensure that work will meet local building codes.
  • Offer exceptionally long warranties.
  • Want to do most or all the work on weekends and after-hours.
  • Give you an offer that sounds “too good to be true.”

Quick List for Hiring a Contractor or Remodeler:

Before hiring
  • Plan your project carefully.
  • Interview several qualified registered contractors/remodelers and solicit written bids.
  • Look for the contractor registration number in advertisements for contractors—and verify that it is current with L&I.
  • Check out the contractor records with other consumer protection organizations.
  • Check for warning signs of a scam or fake contractor.
  • Ask for references and then check them out.
  • Make sure you receive the legally required disclosure statement before work begins.
Hiring tips
  • Get references for the contractor’s suppliers. Check out the contractor’s payment record.
  • Find out about liens and how they impact you. If your project is more than $6,000, request the contractor post a performance bond for the entire cost of the project.
  • Try to anticipate problems and inconveniences. Ask for a disclosure statement prior to work starting.
  • Obtain a written contract.
  • Ask for a disclosure statement prior to work starting.
  • Make frequent inspections of the work.
  • Call your local building department to check on required permits
  • Be very careful about paying for work that has not been finished.
  • Put in writing any changes to your original agreement.
  • Pay as significant work is completed.
Closing the deal
  • Before making final payment on a project, request a completed lien release.
  • If you have a problem with work that has been improperly done, not done at all, or have been stuck with a lien, check out your options for recourse at Problems with contractors or remodelers.

All information was obtained from Washington State Labor & Industries. For more information log on to
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