Consumer Tips - Home Repairs

Problems with home remodeling and repairs are always near the top of the list of consumer complaints. To protect yourself:

  • Get at least three bids for major projects clearly showing the type and amount of materials. The lowest bid is not always the best.
  • Require a written contract and any changes to it should be added as well.
  • Don’t pay large amounts in advance. Pay as the work progresses.
  • Avoid contractors who claim to just happen to be in the neighborhood.

Use the following checklist and be sure pertinent information, such as start & completion dates, payment methods, permits, lien waivers and guarantees is included in the contract.


  • Name of person offering bid
  • Business name, phone & street address (No P.O. box)
  • How long has the business operated under this name?
  • Name of the owner or president
  • Where does the business do its banking?
  • Does the business have an occupational license in my city?
  • Is the business registered in my state & under what name?
  • List five customers for whom the business recently did similar work and contact them
  • Will the contractor agree to:

    1) Submit a bid itemizing all costs & materials?
    2) Include start & completion dates in the contract?
    3) Accept final payment after completion?
    4) Acquire city permits & homes’ association approvals?
    5) Guarantee the job for at least one year & that it will pass city inspections?
    6) Provide copies of warranties for materials?
    7) Provide a certificate of insurance showing coverage?
    8) Provide names & phone numbers of subcontractors?
    9) Provide lien waivers from subs & suppliers?

Further Information

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

About Stan

Stan formed a new company, Trust Stan, LLC, to enable him to continue helping.

He advises businesses on ways to improve customer service, consults television stations on how to successfully operate consumer units and operates a program to continue giving consumers a place to turn.

Helpful Links

Numerous government and private agencies regulate, set standards and/or investigate complaints about businesses and professionals.

They offer a wealth of helpful consumer information and provide places to turn if you are treated improperly.

Consumer Tips

My goal is to make your contacts with businesses more consumer-friendly.

I developed these helpful tips from my personal and professional experiences while helping consumers as a television consumer/investigative reporter.