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If Your Contractor Doesn’t Work Out: Where to Complain

So you’ve done all of your homework and followed the steps we’ve outlined in the last few posts. And it didn’t work well?

You can lodge a complaint or make your dissatisfaction known. Here are some options:

  • The BBB (Better Business Bureau, www.bbb.org)
  • Consumer Affairs.com
  • Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com)
  • Consumer’s Checkbook (www.checkbook.org)
  • Pissed Consumer (www.pissedconsumer.com)
  • Ripoff Report (www.ripoffreport.com)
  • Yelp.com
  • PlanetFeedback.com

Of course, use your judgment and manners, but you have the right to be heard.  Remember: truth is your defense.

The Grass Queen

Thanks to Kate Ashford for her story in the January/February issue of AARP The Magazine

Things to Know before Hiring a Contractor: Demand a Lien Release

The last thing on the list of knowing before you hire a contractor is one of the most important if not the most important:  obtain a lien release.

This is about protecting yourself and your property.  A lien release ensures that, after the work is done and payment received, that the contractor has no way to make a claim on your property.  As with a paid-off car loan, a lien release is provided by the person or company (in this case the contractor) as proof of completion and to release you of responsibility for further payment–or of their being able to make a claim on your property.

This is particularly important for homeowners to ensure their right to their property.  It is a safe thing to do and most contractors, once the final bill is paid, will provide the release.

For more information, here is an article from eHow.com (http://www.ehow.com/about_4683867_lien-release_.html).

The Grass Queen

Six Things to Know Before Hiring a Contractor

We’ve discussed this in this space before, but it is worth the reminder. As you do your planning for home and office improvements for the coming year, be sure you know enough about your contractor before you hire them.

Here’s a list that will help you choose and make the decision:

  1. Get multiple estimates. It will help you understand what the job should cost.
  2. Read consumer reviews. Hearing what others have to say about your candidate can help sway your decision.
  3. Call Licensing boards.  Be sure they have adequate liability coverage.
  4. Get several references.  Talking directly with their clients helps you understand how the contractor works.
  5. Negotiate a maximum hourly rate.  Helps contain costs.
  6. Always demand a lien release.  Protect yourself.

We’ll go over each of these steps in detail in future posts.  In the meantime, read the article from which this was borrowed in the January/February issue of AARP The Magazine (www.aarp.com/magazine).

The Grass Queen