Tips for Hiring a Connecticut Home Improvement Contractor

Reblogger David Popoff
Real Estate Broker/Owner with DMK Real Estate Ct RE Broker 0789963

Being in the residential construction business for over twenty years I totally agree here with Barbara's post on her tips on hiring a contractor. Instead of looking for the cheapest price homeowners need to look for an experienced reputable local contractor who has a track record. A home is usually a families biggest investment, treat it that way!

Original content by Barbara Altieri RES.0781237

10 Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

Hiring a ContractorWe have all heard horror stories about home improvement or remodeling work gone bad due to an inept or dishonest contractor.

A local story stands out in my mind. A homeowner hired a construction company to fix a leaky roof and build an addition. The contractor collected over $50K from the homeowner, started the job and did not complete it.

The local officials deemed the addition structurally unsound and since it was left open to the elements, mold formed and spread into the house. The house became uninhabitable, and the family had to vacate their house.

The contractor was pursued and sued, the work eventually corrected and mold remediated, but it took almost two years for the family to get back into the house.  A nightmare for that family for sure.

While this is an extreme story, it does happen.  How can something like this have been prevented?

Homeowners considering making improvements to their homes need to do due diligence.  Just getting a recommendation from a friend should not be where it ends.

Here are 10 steps to use as a guideline for hiring a home improvement contractor.

  1. Get at least three written estimates.  One is not enough.

  2. Check references. Call the references and/or view jobs the contractor has completed.

  3. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary licenses and insurance.   In CT the Department of Consumer Protection License Services Division allows the consumer to confirm licenses of home improvement contractors. 

  4. Ensure the contract states exactly what is to be done, including getting any required building permits, and how any changes to the original order will be handled.  The contract should state when the work will be started and completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t.  Ask if they will begin the work and STAY until completion .... or will they start, move to another job, and then return when they want.

  5. Make as small of a down payment as possible.  A typical requirement might be 1/3 up front, 1/3 in progress, and 1/3 at completion.  You can negotiate. 

  6. Ask WHO will be doing the work -- the contractor’s workers OR will subcontractors be involved as well.  Are the subs licensed?

  7. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.

  8. Guarantee that the materials used meet your specifications. If you want Andersen windows, it must be in the contract.  NO substitutions.

  9. Don’t make the final payment until you are satisfied with the work.

  10. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau before signing the contract.

There are plenty of good, hard working, honest contractors around.  However, it’s those few, just like any other profession, who can give it an occasional black eye.  

As a homeowner looking to improve your home, keep YOUR  eyes open when selecting a home improvement contractor to guarantee a positive experience.


10 Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor



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Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

David -- Thanks for the reblog. Coming from you I am flattered. However, if anyone has ever been burned by a 'contractor' it really pays to check them out before signing a contract and/or giving a deposit. There are just too many scammers around.

Feb 07, 2012 02:07 PM #1
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

David  an important subject matter this time of year.  Many consumer are  often left disappointed by their choice.  Having the right resources can make all the difference.

Feb 07, 2012 04:01 PM #2
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Great blog David.  Too many people get sucked in by fast talking con artists.

Feb 08, 2012 12:08 AM #3
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Home Sweet Home  :-)

Feb 08, 2012 12:31 AM #4
Al Raymondi
Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida - Ormond Beach, FL
Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales a

Great rips David, we cannot be too careful these days with all the scams around.

Feb 08, 2012 04:21 AM #5
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

Good one to reblog, David, I think I will reblog as well since it is well-written.

Feb 08, 2012 04:45 PM #6
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear David,

Great reblog!
Good advice and memories when I see Barbara's name. Her aunt (by marriage) was my history teacher at Trumbull High School back in the dark ages.

Have a happy day -

Feb 08, 2012 07:22 PM #7
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David Popoff

RealtorĀ®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
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