Obtain at least three bids for your project and carefully compare the bids. The lowest bid may not always be the best value.
A small retainer fee or payment for necessary materials may be appropriate prior to commencement of the project, but full payment in advance of the project is not advisable.
Additions or alterations to your home contrary to city code may affect title transfers or insurance requirements should you ever decide to sell your home. Therefore, be cautious of contractors who that state no permits or inspections are required.
All contractors are required to obtain permits for their work, thus be wary of a contractor who asks you to obtain a permit on their behalf. The party that obtains the permit is ultimately held responsible for work that does not meet city code.
Use only licensed trade contractors and request proof of a current license. The following trades require a license:
Air Conditioning Contractors
Trade contractors must be licensed by the State of Texas and must be registered with the City of Austin before performing any work.
Request and verify references, and request to see a list or photos of projects similar to yours.
Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaint records on your contractor.
Before your project begins, request proof of a building permit and any required trade permits. During the course of your project, monitor your contractor’s inspection records.