Legal Question in Mediation in Washington

Working with a contractor

We are about to embark on a remodeling project and will be hiring a general contractor. There are lots of stories about people loosing money when the contractor doesn't finish the job. What do we need to do to secure a contractual partnership with a contractor to guarantee our investment?

Asked on 7/17/07, 7:56 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Johm Smith tom's

Re: Working with a contractor

Consult with a constructions attorney and they'll advise you on how to protect yourself. Our WA member firm can assist you with this if you wish.

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Answered on 7/17/07, 9:38 pm
Theresa Petrey The Law Office of Theresa Petrey

Re: Working with a contractor

Start at the Washington State Attorney General's Office Website There is a link to the Department of Labor and Industries excellent consumer information on working with contractors.

Beyond all that information here are a few tips to help you attract the best contractor:

1) Always treat your contractor or potential contractor with respect,

2) Expect to pay a fair price and don't nickle and dime your trade people,

3) Get referrals from the contractor and actually talk to the referrals, go see the actual work performed if possible.

4) In a competitive market for tradespeople you will want to provide the contractor with referrals, i.e. if you have worked with other contractors and the relationship has gone well ask them to make the initial inquiry for you.

5) Be patient and realize that reputable remodelers may not be available right away, so work with their scheduling process.

6) Be prompt with progress payments and advance deposits.

7) Avoid change orders, plan carefully before actually finding the contractor. Use a certified Kitchen and Bath Designer or an Interior Designer to get organized before shopping for a contractor.

8) Review the agreement with an attorney before signing if you still have questions.

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Answered on 7/19/07, 11:46 am

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