|120 Eldredge Street||120 Eldredge Street|
|Binghamton, NY 13902-2460||Binghamton, NY 13902-2460||Ithaca, NY|
5 Generation Family Commitment
How to Choose a Reputable Contractor
Printed with permission of the Southern Tier Homebuilders and Remodelers Association.
READ THIS CAREFULLY…your home is your wisest investment. Follow these steps to safeguard your property when dealing with any contractor or home improvement company. If you have any questions, please contact us or The Southern Tier Home Builders and Remodelers Association at the number listed below.
If a down payment is required, make sure it is deposited into an escrow account in your name. This consumer law protects your interest.
Make sure the contractor carries General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance. If your contractor is not insured, you can be liable for personal injury to his employees on your property.
Determine if your contract for work complies with all 14 points of the NYS Contract Law.
Confirm that the contractor has a permanent local business address and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
Ask for references and view past work.
Call the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs or Chamber of Commerce for information on the company.
Begin early enough to check on the company.
Make sure you read your contract carefully. Make sure it is complete and clearly written.
Determine the kind and quality of materials to be used.
Know whom to expect to be working on your property.
DO NOT HIRE A CONTRACTOR:
- who uses “high pressure” tactics!
- who cannot give references or, if the references have some reservations!
- whose name, address, telephone number or credentials cannot be verified.
- who offers an unusual low price, or a price that is yours as a result of “overstocking”, “mistake in purchasing at another job”, or because your home may be used for “advertising purposes”.
We would like to take this opportunity to inform consumers of a new Law recently passed by the State of New York concerning Remodeling and Home Improvement Contracts. A written contract, complying with the following checklist is required if the cost of the job, including all labor, services and materials to be supplied by the contractor is more than $500.00. Multiple contracts between the same parties, each under the $500.00 threshold is prohibited.
For your protection, make sure that each of the following is covered in a Remodeling or Home Improvement Contract entered into after March 1, 1988.
Name, address and telephone number of the contractor and license number, if applicable, of the contractor.
Contract must be legible and written in plain English.
Approximate or estimated date when the work will begin and when the work will be substantially completed, including a statement of contingencies that could materially change the completion date.
Statement whether or not time is of the essence of the completion date.
Specific description of the work to be performed and the materials to be provided to the owner, including make, model number of any other identifying information.
Consideration for the work and materials provided by the contractor must be specified (this means a specific cost or rate).
Notification of the Lien laws.
Notice that the contractor will use an escrow account or post bond for down payment advances on payments received prior to substantial completion and notice of a depository for escrow amounts.
Notice of right of cancellation, including a cancellation form.
Clear description of any other document incorporated in the contract.
Signature of contractor, and signature of the owner and any other party to the contract.
A copy of contract signed by contractor is furnished to the owner before any work is done.
Any amendments to the contract also must be in writing and signed by both parties.
A notice of the exclusion of unincorporated documents.