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Choosing the right contractor for your home improvement project is a very important decision.  A sunroom can cost upwards of $15,000 and the average lattice patio cover is between $3000 and $5000.  That’s a lot of money to pay without knowing exactly what you are getting.  Here are three steps to help insure you make the best decision.

  1. References are important and I recommend you get them but remember, no contractor is going to give you a reference unless they are sure the reference will be good.   A good way to check out the potential contractor is to contact your local Better Business Bureau.  The BBB is obligated to post the reviews of businesses not matter how good or bad the review.  You can contact them by phone or look at their website.  An even better background check is to contact the state license board in your state.  In California where I work the Contractors State License Board website is www.cslb.ca.gov.   All you need to do is enter the contractors license number and the website will tell you if there any complaints.  More important they will let you know that the contractors license is current and they are carrying the required insurance.
  2. Insurance is important and I am amazed at how seldom a new customer asks for my insurance certificates.  We include a copy with our sunroom and patio cover bids but seldom does a customer ask or inquire about them.  Remember that if your contractor is not properly insured you as the homeowner are responsible for injuries to workers or damage to your property.
  3. Go over the details of the job and do not be embarrassed to ask questions not matter how silly they may seem to you.  I encourage customers to ask questions because they way I see it they are spending a lot of money whether the job is a $3000 patio cover or a $30,000 sunroom.  This is a lot of money and the customer has the right to understand what they are getting.  Most problems on a job occur because the customer did not clearly understand what they are getting.  If the contractor is vague or unwilling to spend time with you handling your questions then don’t hire him.  Make sure every detail is covered both on the contract and in you discussion about the project.

Hope this helps.