How To Protect Yourself When Hiring a Contractor

Not sure where to start when hiring a home contractor? Use this guide to best protect yourself when making the decision to hire.

How To Protect Yourself When Hiring a Contractor
NMTI General Contractors
July 13, 2022

How to protect yourself when hiring a home contractor

Finding the perfect home improvement contractor can be a crap shoot at times. How do you know who can really do the work, and also not break your bank. We put together this guide to make sure you don’t make the costly mistake of hiring the wrong pro. 

Come Prepared, Protect Your Budget

Before you go making any phone calls, it's a good idea to prepare on your own.

  • Know what permits are required for your project. Check with your town's local authorities for more information.
  • Plan your budget
  • Plan your design
  • Plan your “DIY Tasks”
  • Plan for any specialized contractors you may need

After speaking with a contractor your plans may adjust, but knowing them before hand will help you protect your project budget, and keep you from any hidden surprises.

Check Listing Sites For Top Rated and Reviewed Contractors

The next step anyone should do after reading this article is to search “contractors near me” on google. Google will naturally present you the most up to date and credible contractors in your area. Be careful to read reviews, check portfolios, and see if they are active online.

Hire Licensed Contractors with Insurance and Bonding

Once you make that call, always make sure the contractor holds:

  • An active contractor license (You can check on your state’s licensing page) For example, you can search NMTI's General Construction license here.
  • Certificate of insurance: Liability insurance to cover any potential property damage or bodily injury during the project, and worker’s compensation insurance to cover potential employee injuries.
  • Construction bonds to protect against any financial loss that could incur if the contractor fails to complete the job.

These are essentials to protecting you, the homeowner. If the contractor is being shady about presenting any of the information then it’s probably a good sign for you to find someone else.

Get a Full Project Scope From Your Contractor

When you receive your quote make sure it includes a detailed:

  • Timeline
  • Project description and materials needed
  • Project cost and cost break down
  • Payment schedule
  • Name of any other partners involved
  • Potential alternatives

Understanding all of this will help you plan ahead and compare to other contractor quotes. 

Get Crafty

Once you get a few project quotes you can start to put together a picture of what makes the most sense for you. You can compare quotes, judge on professionalism, and craft other ways to protect your budget. 

Planning for any renovations of the project that are DIY, sourcing your own materials, and helping clean up the job site are all ways to help save your budget ahead of time.  

Be weary of any red flags

There’s some clear red flags to pay attention to when hiring a contractor. Once you get your handful of quotes, ask yourself: 

  • Is the price too low?
  • Is the contractor using cheaper material?
  • Are they cutting any corners?
  • Are they licensed or insured?
  • Are the asking for payment upfront?
  • Are they avoiding any transparency?
  • Are they providing a written contract?
  • Is this the best solution for me?

Remember, this is your home and your money. Make sure you are asking yourself the right questions before forking over any money.

Get a written contract

Once you find a few contractors you like, make sure you sign a contract in writing. This will protect you in any matters if the project goes out of scope. The right contractor will always provide a transparent written contract. If there is anything in the contract that you are unsure of don't be afraid to seek legal advice.

Go with who you trust and makes you feel understood

At the end of the day you must feel confident in who you are hiring. Even if you go outside your budget, as long as you feel it’s the best solution for you it will be worth it. 

A few extra days of due diligence will save you a world of troubles and leave you with a peace of mind after the renovation. 

If you are living in Massachusetts and need a general contractor for any home renovations, say hello to our team at NMTI General Contractors. We’re happy to get the conversation started.



Got more questions and need to talk with a pro? Contact us, we are more than happy to help.