Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday - National Do-It-Yourself Day

But ... if you don't want to do it yourself and are considering farming the job out to a contractor, here is some good advice from a contractor himself.  Dave Silva, of Silva Construction, sent out this bulletin.  We have been using Silva Construction for various projects of varying-size jobs for 30 years so a lot of this no longer applies to us.  But you may find it useful.

1.  Don't be sold on the very first one.  Take your time, audition at least three different firms and get references for all three.  And ask to see a second piece of identification with a photo.

2.  Most importantly - Get the Contractor's License number and go to and look for it.  By law, any firm or person doing work that costs $500 and up has to be licensed by the Contractors State License Board.  This site has information on the contractor's license bond, workers compensation insurance status (if any,) pending or prior lawsuits/legal actions.

3.  Don't pay cash unless it's some piddling little $20 job.

4.  Don't pay more than 10 per cent of the job or $1,000 as a down payment on the job - whichever is less.  Make sure any contract made has the payment schedule written into it.

5.  Don't let payments get ahead of the work as in, for example, "I'm going to have to ask for another payment on the contract because of your change order to upgrade the kitchen counters."

And I would add, as a customer, be absolutely sure that you know exactly what you want; don't get all caught up in the latest issue of Architectural Digest and decide you can't live another moment longer without a glass-bottom swimming pool - instead of tile - that, you know, after thinking about it, you want the master bedroom on the other side of the house ... Unless, of course, you are extremely wealthy and in that case just buy a new house and leave this one for the servants.  They don't need a glass-bottom pool.

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