Home Planning & Renovations

Hiring a Contractor in NYC

By Tiffany Smolick


What the Experts Say about Hiring Contractors

January 18, 2011

Deciding to renovate your New York City house, apartment or business by hiring a home remodeling contractor is a serious decision. The design features of the renovation, budget, time factor (if any) and type of materials desired are all components of the renovation process that need to be addressed. More importantly, however, is who you choose to do the job for you. Unless you hire an established, reputable and licensed contracting firm, the remodeling project you have dreamed about for years may develop into an inferior, shoddy and extremely expensive nightmare.

How could this happen? Part of the reason is the high number of unlicensed scam artists pretending to be professional home remodelers. They continue to successfully deceive people because they are experienced criminals familiar with how to take advantage of consumers. Many simply disappear immediately after taking a large sum of money. This is especially true of contractors who do not possess a physical address but, instead, operate from a website that appears legitimate.
For example, a consumer stumbling upon a home remodeling contractor on the internet will mail the contractor asking for more information. The contractor will email him in return with the answers and suggest talking on the phone about the job. Eventually, this phone meeting develops into a “contract” sent by the home remodeler via email to the consumer. Without ever meeting the contractor, the consumer will digitally sign the contract and mail a check to the contractor, expecting work to commence the next day. Of course, the contractor does not show up and no work is ever done. The consumer in this story may seem a little naive to you, but this kind of scam happens every day to residents of New York City.

What to Look for in a Legitimate Home Remodeling Contractor
New York City remodeling contractors like MyHome possess an excellent reputation among other industry professionals as well as businesses and building inspectors. Legitimate contractors will have a physical office and address as well as business cards bearing that address. They will never ask you to pay for the entire job before it is completed, or even half of the final, estimated cost. Licensed and reputable contractors will always present you with a detailed contract that does not neglect mentioning any aspect of the job, such as materials, labor costs and expected time of completion. Finally, always be wary of contractors who ask for cash instead of check or credit. Bogus New York City home remodelers know how difficult it is to prove transactions have occurred when no paper or digital trail exists.

Warning Signs
A realistic budget is an important part of any remodel, and the bathroom is no exception. How much are you willing and able to spend on your bathroom remodel? It’s a good idea to plan ahead with a blanket, in case of unforeseen costs arising in the process of your remodel. With your budget situated, you may begin to look for contractors, appliances, and fixtures that fit within that budget.

The contractor tries to brush off the importance of permits or he insists on obtaining the permit rather than you obtaining the permit. This may indicate he does not possess a New York State license to legally contract in New York City.
If he only has a cell number but not a physical business number, ask for his company’s physical address.
Never allow a contractor soliciting door-to-door into your home to discuss remodeling options.
He can’t provide proof of operating in the city for at least five years
The prices that he quotes seem ridiculously low
He has trouble looking directly at you and demeanor seems nervous and edgy

Finally, trust your intuition when talking to someone about working on a contract remodeling job in your New York City home, apartment or business. With many excellent and distinguished home remodeling companies like MyHome operating in the NYC, you should never settle for the first, or even second, contractor you interview, no matter how “affordable” he makes his services seem to you. Remember, professionally performed remodeling services can only be implemented by professional experts who work for established New York City contractors like MyHome remodeling company.