Using a Contractor Checklist

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Keep all paperwork related to your home improvement project in one place. This should include copies of all contracts with all change orders and correspondence with your home improvement contractors. Keep a log of all phone calls, requests, conversations, and activities. Keep copies of all documents, written correspondence, canceled checks, notes, receipts, etc. You may want to take photographs as the job progresses through various stages. These records are vital if you have problems during or after. If problems develop later, the project is fully documented.

Checklist for Completion

Before you sign off on the job or make the final payment, use this checklist below to make certain your job has been completed. Make certain that:

All work meets the standards spelled out in the contract.

You have written warranties and instruction manuals for materials and workmanship, including the appliances, range hoods, and equipment supplied.

You have proof that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid.

The job site has been cleaned up and cleared of excess materials, tools and equipment.

You have inspected and approved the completed work.

How and Where to Complain

If you have a problem with your home improvement project, first try to resolve it with the contractor. Most disputes are resolved at the contractor level. Follow every phone conversations with a letter outlining what the problem is and the solution agreed to. You should spend a few dollars and send it by certified mail with a return receipt. It is your proof that the company received your letter. Keep a copy for your files.

If you can’t get satisfaction, consider the following organizations for further information and help:

Your local Better Business Bureau.

State and local consumer protection offices.

Your state or local Builders Association, Remodelors Council or whatever organization he is a member of.

Action lines and consumer reporters for your local newspapers, TV, and radio stations.

Whoever referred you to the contractor.