After you receive your home inspection report and the sellers respond with a list of what items will be fixed before your closing date you’ll probably be left with a number of upgrades and repairs that you will want to make on your new home.
First, prioritize your list , placing any items that pose a possible danger to you and your family at the top of your list followed by mere upgrades or cosmetic issues. Make sure that any contractor you call for an estimate has a N.J. Home Improvement License – check it with the department of consumer affairs. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints.
First impressions in any business are important, How a contractor presents himself and maintains his truck are often good indicators of how he’ll take care of you and your job !
Beware of low bids ! A bid far lower then the others indicates that the contractor isn’t experienced enough to know the actual cost of the job or that he may never intend to finish the job. That’s a nightmare !
Plan to put only 20% up front. In general, don’t choose a contractor who asks for more then 20% up front. While some projects like custom made kitchen cabinets require a larger initial payment to cover the contractor in case you pull out of the deal, it doesn’t apply to commodity items such as roofing & lumber which a legitimate contractor will usually purchase on his account with at least 30 days to pay.
Finally, BEWARE OF CASH ONLY JOBS ! This raises a big red flag. Not only does paying in cash limit your financial recourse if problems arise, the contractor is likely not operating a legitimate business which includes paying for liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Look elsewhere for a professional to perform your work.
One more item, New Jersey Licensed Home Inspectors are not allowed to promote , recommend or advise their clients on selecting contractors. It’s a clear conflict of interest, once we’ve provided you with a list of defects !
Bob Godwin Eastern Home Inspections (800) 333-2783 www.inspectnj.com