PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

Choosing a Reputable Contractor

Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.

There are laws in place to protect you. Every city, municipality and state has minimum building standard laws for all construction, remodeling, additions, alterations, and repairs. This law requires all new homes and remodeling work to be completed to local codes and provides for third-party inspections. All builders and contractors must follow the same rules and meet the same standards. These measures protect you from poor construction methods and provide you with assurances that your home will be remodeled to scientifically-tested standards.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? Don't relax just yet. You're entrusting someone with what is probably your largest asset , and their only required guidance is a code that provides a minimum standard. Want to rest easy that you've got a good professional contractor? Here's the homework assignment:

Ask your contractor about the quality of their work. Do they build to code? When do they build beyond code? "Beyond code" will ensure the durability and energy efficiency you want in your home. Ask the contractor if he or she has attended any code training. If he or she uses subcontractors, do they build to code? Is your contractor as interested in green housing technology as you are?

Take your time. Most problems occur when consumers fail to investigate contractors carefully before hiring them.

When you're ready to look for a remodeler, start here.

Content updated on 11/21/2007

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