Sponsor This PageClick here to find out how

Hiring a Contractor for Accessible Home Modifications

Four Steps to Guarantee the Right Man for the Job

Hiring a home contractor means trusting someone with your property and your finances. Finding the right contractor takes time and effort, but approaching the project with the following parameters will ensure you develop a contract and quality working relationship for a good end result.

1. Get a Background check

Contact the Better Business Bureau about the contractor you are considering.

2. Ask for References

Ask for references of previous and/or current customers.

3. Withhold Payment

Never pay the full amount upfront. Pay according to a payment schedule in the contract. Do not make the last payment until every detail of the project is done to your satisfaction.

4. Sign a Contract

Always get a written contract. The contract spells out every detail of your project. It should be clear, concise and complete. Before you sign a contract, make sure it contains:

  • The contractor’s name, address, phone, and license number, and proof of insurance coverage. If you work with a corporation, get the names of all owners and principals.
  • The payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers. Final payment should only be made when all work is done to the customer’s complete satisfaction.
  • The estimated start and completion date.
  • The contractor’s obligation to obtain all permits, including a list of those needed.
  • A clear definition of how changes to the original contract will be handled. A change order, common on remodeling jobs, is a written authorization for the contractor to make a change or addition to the work information described in the original contract. It may affect the project cost and schedule and should clearly spell this out. Remodelers may require payment for change orders before work begins.
  • A detailed bill of materials listing everything needed including color, model, size, brand name, and product.
  • Warranties covering both materials and workmanship. The names and addresses of the parties honoring the warranties, whether it is the contractor, distributor or manufacturer. The length of the warranty period and any warranty limitations should be spelled out.
  • A list of what the contractor will and will not do, e.g., site clean up and trash hauling.
  • Any oral promises made during the project should be included in the written contract.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks in it that can be filled in later.

Good contractors operate along these guidelines. If you should come across one that does not follow these procedures, find another contractor to interview. Ask friends and neighbors who they have used for home improvements. Contact your local senior support services organizations to see if they can recommend someone.

The success of a sizeable home improvement project relies heavily on the quality of the contractor.

By: Courtesy, The Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Visit website

^ back to top

"Approaching the project with the following parameters will ensure you develop a contract and quality working relationship for a good end result."

The Right Man for the Job

Don't know where to start the hunt for a reliable contractor? Try these resources to find specialists in your area.

  • Search the Stroke-Network.com’s directory to find contractors in your area that specialize in home modifications for stroke survivors.
  • Consult the National Association of Home Builders’ directory of Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists.
Job Accommodation Network Box Ad Buckley’s Book Ad Your Ad Here