Maintaining your home is essential to increasing the value of your home. Depending on the age of your home it may be time for major home improvement projects. I know many of you will take the DIY route to home improvement projects but for those of you that do not have the talent or the time to do it yourself and want to hire a contractor here are few tips to ensure the successful completion of your home improvement project.
Hiring an experienced reputable contractor is the first step. I recommend asking your family, friends or us for a referral as one way of finding a contractor. We maintain an extensive list of all types of contractors we have experience in working with. Another great place to find a contractor is Angies List or HomeAdvisor. In choosing a contractor I recommend you only work with a California state licensed contractor who is bonded and insured. Once you have identified a contractor, before you make the decision to hire them or sign a contract check with the licensing board CSLB.CA.GOV for the status of their license and to find out if they have had any formal complaints or violations on their license, or have had any disciplinary action taken against them.
If your home improvement project is for more than $500 for materials and labor by law a written contract is required. The CSLB requires that any contract for a home improvement project must include the following:
The start date and the completion date of the project
The amount of the deposit or down payment. By law initial deposit or downpayment is either 10% of the total amount of the contract or $1000 which ever is less
A detailed description of the project to be completed. This should include a detailed list of the materials to be utilized or provided. The more detailed the description the better to avoid any confusion once the project is started.
A schedule of payments. Progress payments can only be based upon specific work being completed.
Finally depending on the nature of your home improvement project you may required to obtain a building permit for the work to be completed. Your contractor can determine if a permit is required. I recommend keeping all project related documents and any warranty information for your future reference. If you sell your home you are required to detail all changes modification or alterations you have made to the home for the entire time you have owned the property.
If you have questions about anything related to real estate call me at 916 792-7362.
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