Choosing A Builder or Remodeler


If you're considering building a new home or remodeling the home you're in now, here's a checklist to help you select your contractor:

• Do they have a permanent business address?
• Can they provide references?
• Ask to see their state license or contact the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services' License Verification Unit at 517-241-9288 or www.cis.state.mi.us/verify.htm.
• Do they have current liability insurance and workers compensation coverage?
Note: If you hire someone who is unlicensed and/or uninsured you may be held liable for any injuries that occur while working on your property.

• How long have they been in business?
• Check with your local building department for any complaints.
• Check with your county clerk to make sure there are no civil suits against the contractor.
• Check with the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.
• Make sure you receive a complete, clearly written contract for the work to be done.
• Do not pay cash up front unless you have a signed valid contract.
• Beware of bids which are too low or unreasonably out of line with other bids. Be sure the estimates specify the total price and the method of payment, the kind and quality of materials to be used and the estimated length of time it will take to complete the work.