Taking up a home improvement project is a great investment, especially when you’re settling into a new home or in a tough financial situation. Even small projects can add up to thousands of dollars, depending on the project.
Before you start a project, you need to ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed. In New York, it is illegal to engage in “home improvement” work without a license. The fines can be as high as $500 to $5,000.
If you’re hiring a professional, you’ll want to make sure that they have a license from the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York. You can also check with the local building codes office to ensure that they’re in compliance.
You should also check the contractor’s insurance. Be sure to ask for references from previous customers and look for testimonials from neighbors.
You should also have a written contract that includes details about the project. This should include a timeline and payment schedule. You may also want to put a down payment or pay in incremental payments until the work is completed.
You should always keep in mind that you need to pay the contractor when the project is finished. You can set up an escrow account, which can be used only for the work until the job is substantially complete.
The majority of homeowners plan to start their first project in March, but more than six percent aren’t planning anything. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts that the rate of home remodeling will slow down in the near future.