Previously, the Law Firm has published articles and a video concerning licensed Maryland Home Improvement Contractors and the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. Instead of talking about the legality of contracts with licensed contractors, and the protections afforded through the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, this article will briefly delve into the right procedure for picking the contractor to do your home renovation.
Recently, one of the attorneys at the Law Firm decided, with his spouse, to move forward with a renovation in their home. The first thing they did was get recommendations from people who had previously used home improvement contractors and were satisfied with the results. After compiling a list of potential contractors, the homeowners then made sure that these contractors were licensed, and went to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission website to determine if any complaints had been filed against them.
Next, they went to the Maryland Courts website at www.courts.state.md.us/index and were able see if any of these contractors had been sued in any of the State Courts of Maryland.
Having determined that the prospective contractors had satisfactorily performed jobs for acquaintances of the homeowners, and were properly licensed without complaints and lawsuits against them, the homeowners met with each of the contractors, detailed their projects, and obtained estimates.
Since any home renovation requires the homeowners to make numerous selections, the homeowners visited building supply companies recommended by the contractor. In addition to making selections, the homeowners spoke with employees at the building supply companies about the prospective contractors that had referred them to get further confirmation that these contractors were not only properly licensed, but clearly qualified to do the job.
Subsequently, the homeowners selected a contractor and began to negotiate the contract. One of the biggest complaints that the Law Firm sees about home improvement contractors is their inability to meet deadlines as contained in contracts. The homeowner needs to be realistic about how long any home improvement will take, and the disruption in the lives of the occupants of the home that will accompany the improvement.
Based on the size and nature of the renovation, the homeowners may decide to have the proposed contract reviewed by an attorney. Certainly, in large scale home improvements where tens of thousands of dollars are being spent, the idea of having the contract reviewed for a minor cost is a good one.
Now the homeowners are ready to move forward with the renovation having signed the contract and begin preparing for total disruption of home life which will, hopefully, result in a good improvement. It is extremely important to take your time when going through the process of a home improvement, and to make sure that the person who you are charging with the completion of this project is the right one for you.
Steven T. Blomberg