Everyone has heard the horror stories involving remodels gone awry and repair work going far over-budget and past-schedule while the homeowners must spend weeks or months living on a construction site as a result. If you are contemplating major work on your property, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic terms that will save you the headaches and nightmares of working with unscrupulous contractors. Specifically, before engaging the services of a local contractor, you want to make sure your choice is bonded, insured and that the work is certified to avoid adding your home repair project to the litany of horror stories.


Something that should not be overlooked when starting a home improvement project is finding out if you need a building permit. If a permit is required and you don’t get one, it could cause delays as well as an increase in your overall costs thanks to fines. The requirements vary from city to city, so be sure to contact your local building office.

Factory Certified

Contractors who are factory certified, typically HVAC technicians and roofers, among others, understand the ins-and-outs of the equipment they are working on. Beyond having a knowledgeable technician working on your equipment, a certified and factory-trained contractor guarantees that you won’t void your equipment and service warranties.


Bonded contractors set aside money that is controlled by the state and dispersed if you are forced to file a complaint for negligence or failure to perform contracted duties. In order to obtain a bond, a reputable bonding company thoroughly investigates the contractor, so you know that your potential service team’s performance has been placed under a microscope before your relationship even begins.


Accidents happen, and when they happen on your property, you want to make sure you don’t end up footing the bill for any injuries that may arise. An insured contractor can file a claim against their insurance carrier so you don’t need to be using your own homeowners policy.

Are there any terms we left out that you think are important? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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