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When using a contractor for a project, you may think that your job is finished once you have hired a contractor. However, there are some important steps you should take that can save you money and protect your property.
When using a contractor, it is very important to keep all the paperwork related to the project in one location. This could include:
Only make a final payment when you are satisfied
Make sure that all parties have been paid. If subcontractors or suppliers have not been paid laws in your area may allow them to take a lien out against your home to satisfy their bills. You can prevent this by asking the contractor, any subcontractor, and the suppliers for a lien release or a lien waiver.
Know the limit for the final bill
Your local or state laws may limit the amount which the final bill can surpass the estimate without your approval.
Know you can withhold payment
If you paid for the merchandise or the service you may be able to withhold the payment. If you have made a good faith effort to work out the problem with the seller you have the right to contact your credit card company and withhold the payment from the card issuer for the merchandise or services. You are able to withhold the payment up to the amount of the credit outstanding for the purchase plus any finance or related changes.
Before making a final payment make sure that the following have been completed:
If you have a problem with your home improvement project there are some steps you can take.
Try to resolve it with your contractor.
Make sure to follow any phone conversations up with a letter sent by certified mail. Request that you receive a return receipt. This will provide proof that the company or contractor received your letter. Be sure to keep any correspondence in your file.
If resolving the issue with the contractor was not successful you can consider getting outside help.
Information on builders, service providers, or remodelers: http://www.nahb.org/local_association_search_form.aspx
Information on energy efficiency: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_homes.hm_index
Information on contractors, financing, and home improvement: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0242-hiring-contractor