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How to Avoid Contractor Delays

Getting a contractor to finish a home renovation project on time may seem like an impossible task – and with some contractors it is, no matter what you do – but there are some steps you can take to minimize and/or avoid some contractor delays. Home improvement delays can be frustrating, especially during those stretches of inactivity when you start to feel like you could’ve done the job faster (and cheaper) yourself, but by then it’s often too late to backtrack. How do you avoid getting to that spot in the first place? <strong>Contractor Reputation</strong> They know it and you know it, and you will keep money in your pocket by taking heed. The trick, though, is to know how to identify a good contractor reputation. Don’t rely solely on the testimonials, ratings, certifications and other marketing provided on the contractor’s website. It’s a fair place to start, but what you really want to seek out are genuine reviews hosted by an unbiased third party. Services like <a title="Yelp Homepage" href="http://www.yelp.com/" target="_blank">Yelp</a>, <a title="Google Places Homepage" href="http://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/" target="_blank">Google Places</a>, <a title="Angie's List Homepage" href="http://www.angieslist.com/" target="_blank">Angie’s List</a> and others are a good place to do secondary searches after you peruse the contractor’s main website. <strong>Subcontractor Query</strong> No matter the job, there’s a good chance your chosen contractor will employ subcontractors to do some of the work. It is your right as a consumer to follow up on this fact and make inquiries into what companies will really be tinkering with your property. It may end up that you can research these companies in the same way you researched the contractor, and if so it’s a good idea to follow up. <strong>Consider Escrow Accounts</strong> An escrow service in an excellent way to safeguard your investment in your contractor, particularly if you include a completion clause. This will give the contractor an incentive to finish on time as well as give you leverage in the all too common disputes that arise over expectations vs. the finished product. An escrow service is a third party that holds the agreed-upon payment for the work and does not release it to the contractor until you are satisfied that the work is complete to your satisfaction. If you’re considering a contractor who won’t work in an escrow arrangement, you may want to consider a different contractor. <strong>Supply Sources</strong> A common complaint contractors make is that they can’t get the supplies they need to finish the job. This is something you can ask about <em>before they start working</em>. Verify that they have assured access to the materials they will need to do the work you want done before you sign off on the deal and it will be harder for them to argue otherwise later on. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips help you get the quality service you deserve from your contractor.
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