December 9, 2022


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Homeowners should use caution when contracting services for home improvement projects

Rick Walz writes the "Consumer Advocate"

Rick Walz writes the “Shopper Advocate”

June is National Homeownership Thirty day period, an prospect for U.S. inhabitants to replicate on the significance of the property and its part in their lives. With a median asking selling price of $225,500 for a property, turning into a property owner can take determination, tolerance and clever budgeting. For lots of first-time homebuyers, closing the offer on their buy is a time of celebration and gratitude. Though moving furniture and solidifying paperwork may look like the biggest impediment to enjoying their new home, it does not just take extensive right before they obtain their initially major residence enhancement undertaking.

Buying a house is a person of the greatest and most major investments consumers make in their lives. It is critical to workout warning when contracting products and services for residence enhancement initiatives to defend their financial investment. Use these BBB recommendations for the two new and seasoned property owners to support deal with self-assurance:

Acquire at minimum 3 prices. BBB strongly recommends that property owners searching to contract services for any function obtain at the very least a few prices from different organizations just before settling on a ultimate decision. Obtaining several prices makes it possible for property owners to have a sound knowing of pricing and products and services and contributes to their ability to have an informed discussion with their preferred contractor about the project’s selling price. Be absolutely sure to check to locate contractors you can trust.

Under no circumstances spend the whole project expense upfront. Even if the contractor features a significant discount for paying the total expense of the challenge upfront, BBB constantly recommends staggering payments by the length of the venture. Staggering payments allow for the home owner to examine the get the job done at particular milestones, making certain that the operate is finished to their gratification just before releasing the subsequent payment installment. Owners ought to steer clear of contractors practicing intense ways or insisting on obtaining entire payment ahead of commencing the project, and most deposits should vary amongst 10-30% of the complete challenge price tag. Some contractors may well need a much more considerable down payment owing to the value of elements or other evidently communicated difficulties.

Realize licensing prerequisites. Dependent on the type of get the job done a property owner wishes, condition or nearby regulatory agencies may possibly involve distinctive licensing. In those people industries that ordinarily have to have licenses (electricians, HVAC, plumbers, pesticide applicators, and many others.), commit the time to double-check the license is legitimate with the relevant agency. The contractor really should be forthcoming in describing exactly how the property owner can confirm the license is energetic. Hold in brain that the property owner may possibly be held liable for operate completed by an unlicensed contractor that does not comply with setting up codes or benefits in property harm.

Be cautious of ‘too fantastic to be true’ deals. As is common in any market transaction, critically evaluate any deal that would seem also superior to be accurate. Have faith in in your instinct. Giving items and expert services at steep discount rates for a ‘limited time’ is a prevalent tactic of scammers and con artists to inspire individuals to make quick selections prior to verifying the legitimacy of the business enterprise or individual.

For much more home-owner details, go to, BBB’s on the web useful resource center for property owners to fully grasp the several facets of household possession and advancement or repair service assignments. If you see a rip-off, irrespective of whether you have lost cash or not, report it to

Rick Walz is the President and CEO of the Greater Small business Bureau serving Northern Indiana, which serves 23 counties. Contact the BBB at 800-552-4631 or visit

This report initially appeared on South Bend Tribune: Client Advocate: Choose your contractor with self esteem