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Homeowners can protect themselves during a remodeling project

There comes a time for many homeowners when they want to introduce drastic changes to their homes on the inside, outside or both.

Once made, this decision to remodel -- whether made out of necessity or a simple desire for change -- will be accompanied by a period of intense preparation, including deciding on the design and scope of the project, and, perhaps most importantly, selecting a contractor.

As exciting as this time can be for homeowners, experts indicate that there are a few warning signs that they should be on the lookout for throughout their remodel project and that they should be prepared, if necessary, to part ways with their contractors should these warning signs appear.

What are some of these warning signs?

Up front money  

The very first step that homeowners can take to protect themselves, say experts, comes before the first nail is hammered or the first cabinet is torn down.

Homeowners need to be wary when a contractor asks for an exceptionally large amount of up-front money to get the project started.

Indeed, experts indicate that anything above 15 percent should sound warning bells and necessitate a discussion to understand why such a large sum is needed by the contractor. That's because experts indicate that while contractors will certainly need funds to get the remodel project going, they should have sufficient credit available to cover the costs.

It should also be noted that experts also indicate that homeowners should take steps to ensure that once the up-front money is paid, any additional monies paid are tied to construction milestones -- framing complete, plumbing complete, roofing complete, etc. -- and not specific dates.

We will continue to examine this topic in future posts. In the meantime, if you are a builder or homeowner requiring assistance with any sort of construction dispute, consider speaking with an experienced and highly skilled legal professional as soon as possible. 

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