The roof over your head is one of the most important things, so when it starts to fall apart, you need to call in the cavalry. However, when it comes to hiring a professional contractor, you need to make sure he or she is just that: professional. On top of that, the contractor needs to be insured, boned and experienced. This is to protect yourself as well as your life's most precious investment. Here are a few legal tips to keep in mind when hiring a contractor to perform work on your home:
1. Make Sure the Contractor Has Proper Licensing.
Before you choose a contractor, make sure he or she meets the licensing requirements set forth by your state. Most states require contractors to register and adhere to certain regulations. For example, in Georgia, it is illegal to perform work as an unlicensed contractor. While there is never any solid guarantee of perfect work, a registered and licensed contractor with the state is going to be better to deal with all the way around than a contractor who is not operating within the law and following processes outlined by the state.
2. See If Your Contractor Carries Surety Bonds.
Bonds are certain types of guarantees that contractors will purchase from surety bond companies that will ensure the competition of projects in the event that they are unable to. These bonds will also typically ensure that work is performed to specified regulations and codes. All states will not require the same bonds for a home construction project, and there are different types of bonds. For example, in Texas, contractors are required to carry permit and license bonds.
3. Make Sure Your Contractor Carries Adequate Insurance.
Although you think the worst could never happen to you, it could. Make sure that your contractor has appropriate insurance for his or her projects, company, and employees. This is important because, in some states, if the contractor fails to pay for materials purchased from a local hardware store or doesn't pay workers' comp for employees, a third-party contractor's lien could be placed against your home. Therefore, request evidence of insurance and verify its validity before signing any residential project contract.
Your home is your everything, so you need to make sure that everything is done right and by the law. You need to do your best to eliminate any potential legal issues that could arise during and following the home construction or remodeling project. If you're unsure how to properly read a contract from a contractor, unsure about some terms in the contractor or are unsure about the entire process, contact a local real estate attorney like Iannello Anderson for assistance.