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Troubleshooter Tips

Home Improvement

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Get estimates!
Get more than one estimate, making sure each estimate is based on the same specifications, materials and time frame.

Protect yourself when you hire a contractor.
Check with the consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau to see how long the company has been in business and if there are any complaints against it. Find out if the contractors need to be licensed or bonded from your local housing authority. If they do, ask to see the contractor's license.

Put everything in writing.
Make sure you have a written contract with the builder's full name, street address, and phone number. It should include a complete description of all the work to be done and the materials required to do it. Be sure there is a total cost and terms of payment written clearly on the contract. Never sign a partially blank contract, draw lines through any blank spaces.

Cover all bases!
You have three days to cancel a non-emergency home improvement contract that you sign in your home. To cancel... write the company a letter, keeping a copy for yourself, send it by Certified Mail to ensure you have a receipt
.