We all have something that we would love to do to improve our homes. Perhaps put on an expansion, improve the livability of the space, or make a few updates. The task of finding a contractor to perform work at an affordable price is daunting. It is therefore not surprising that many of my Washington or Oregon construction law dispute clients were driven into contractor disputes by one factor: cost.
Is cost the only thing one should think about? Most people know the answer to that question is no. Quality is just as important, if not more important. Do your due diligence before hiring a contractor. Ask friends and family, visit the Better Business Bureau, and look on reputable websites for complaints or endorsements.
Once you have a short list of contractors that can handle the job, make sure to ask a few basic, but critical questions. For example, what is the contractor's license number? If they don't have one, they are off the list. If they do have one, you can use it to investigate whether any claims have been made against the contractor for defective construction.
Ask about insurance. How much coverage do they have? Is it enough? Are all of the subcontractors insured? This is one of the most important questions because regardless if you have a rock solid construction defect claim in Seattle or a water intrusion claim in Portland--although the laws differ in each state--a contractor with inadequate insurance is nearly impossible to recover against.
If you are looking for a contractor to perform work on your home in the six figures (or worse), a little effort on the front end can provide protection to your home down the road.