Helpful Tips: Contractors
  • Avoid any contractor who requires large advance payments.
  • Arrange to pay the contractor after the work is completed and according to a payment schedule.
  • The payments should reflect approximately the work that has been done. Avoid paying cash. Payment by check will be a record of your payment.
  • Make all payments by check to the company contracted to do the work, not to "cash" or a person's name.
  • Do not sign a completion certificate unless all work is completed to your satisfaction according to contract and an approved, final inspection has been performed by one of our qualified inspectors (unincorporated areas) or by your jurisdictional building department​​.
  • If your contract exceeds $2,500, a Notice of Commencement must be filed by the homeowner or contractor. Failure to record a Notice of Commencement may result in you paying twice for improvements to your property. If you intend to get financing, consult with your lender or an attorney before recording your Notice of Commencement. A recorded, certified copy of the Notice of Commencement must be posted at the job site.
  • Get a statement that the contractor, subcontractor(s) and supplier(s) of materials will provide you with a notarized Release of Lien stating the contractor has paid all subcontractors and suppliers of materials for their services, up to any payment paid.
  • Get a statement that the contractor will get all necessary building permits, and whether the contract amount includes the cost of permits or if it will be charged separately.
  • If the contractor is paid more than 10% of the contract price at the time of signing, the contractor must apply for all permits within 30 days of receiving the funds. Work must be started within 90 days after all permits are obtained.