Consumer Guide: Home Improvement / Home Repair

Home Improvement/Home Repair

Home improvement projects can be exciting and rewarding, but finding the right contractor to do the work can be a challenge. Whether you’re planning a major renovation or a simple repair, choosing the right contractor is critical to the success of your project. In this guide, we’ll provide tips on what to look for and what to avoid when working with a home improvement contractor, so you can find a professional who understands your needs and can deliver the results you want.

Working with a home improvement contractor can be a major investment, both in terms of time and money. You want to be sure that you’re getting the best value for your investment and that the work is done to your satisfaction. However, not all contractors are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can result in shoddy workmanship, missed deadlines, and unexpected expenses. In the following sections, we’ll offer expert tips on how to find a contractor you can trust, how to communicate effectively with your contractor, and how to manage your project for the best possible outcome.

Tips From the Experts: Key Factors to Consider When Working with a Home Contractor

Note: Any item listed with an asterisk (*) below is a NAOSA Gold Standard of Professional Practice™ and is required for NAOSA professional membership. For more details, please visit the NAOSA Consumer Guides page.

Be sure the contractor is licensed and insured*

When it comes to hiring a home improvement contractor, one of the most important things to look for is proper licensing and insurance. A licensed contractor has met certain qualifications and standards set by the state or local licensing board, which can help ensure that they have the necessary skills and experience to perform the work properly. Additionally, hiring an insured contractor can provide you with important protections in case of accidents, property damage, or other issues that may arise during the course of the project. All NAOSA members are required to be licensed and insured. If a contractor is not, you may be taking on unnecessary risks and liabilities, and could be held responsible for any accidents or damage that occur. Always ask to see proof of licensing and insurance before hiring a contractor, and make sure that they are up to date and in good standing. This can help give you peace of mind and protect your investment in your home.

Do your research

Before hiring a contractor, do your homework. Check online reviews and ratings, ask for references, and verify that they are licensed and insured. This can help you avoid scams and ensure that you're working with a reputable contractor.

Get detailed quotes

Ask your contractor to provide a detailed, written quote that outlines all of the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the timeline for completion. This can help prevent misunderstandings and surprises later on.

Set clear expectations

Be clear about your expectations for the project, including the timeline, budget, and quality standards. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Keep a paper trail

Keep copies of all correspondence and documents related to the project, including contracts, invoices, and receipts. This can help protect you in case of disputes or legal issues down the road.

Do not make final payment until the work Is completed to your satisfaction*

One important thing to keep in mind when working with a home improvement contractor is that you should never make a final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction. While it's common practice for contractors to request a deposit or an initial payment to cover the cost of materials and get the project started, you should never pay the full amount until the work is finished and you're completely happy with the results. This can help ensure that your contractor stays motivated to finish the job to your standards, and can provide you with leverage if there are any issues or disputes with the workmanship. NAOSA member contractors may not insist on full payment before completing the job. If you decide to hire a non-NAOSA member and your contractor insists on payment before completion, this may be a red flag that they are not trustworthy or reliable. You should consider finding another contractor who is willing to work under more reasonable payment terms.

Communicate regularly

Communication is key to a successful project. Make sure that you and your contractor are in regular contact and that you're kept up to date on the progress of the work.

Inspect the work

Once the work is complete, inspect it carefully to make sure it meets your expectations and the terms of the contract. If there are any issues or defects, bring them to your contractor's attention immediately so they can be addressed.

Are you a home improvement contractor?
We welcome your constructive input to assist in the protection of all consumers. Please contact us.

Review All the NAOSA Consumer Guides Before Make a Purchase

Simply click on the industry to access the Consumer Guide

Auto and Home Insurance Owners

Home Care & Assistance

Home Improvement/ Home Repair

Insurance & Investments

Legal Professionals

Long-Term Care Insurance

Medicare Supplement & Medicare Advantage Insurance

Moving Companies

Real Estate

Reverse Mortgage

Senior Living Communities

Senior Living Brokers/Consultants

The NAOSA Guarantee

NAOSA requires members to act in utmost good faith when working with clients. Members must agree to act in a fiduciary manner in a way that the member reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the client. In addition to compliance with all federal and state regulations, each professional member of the National Association of Senior Advocates must also follow and act in accordance with the NAOSA Consumer Guides published herein.  Members who are found not in compliance with these standards will be censured, with membership subject to revocation.


Avoid Scams Targeting You & Your Loved Ones

We publicize bad business practices across a wide range of industries and alert you on the latest scams. Stay safe, get educated, and sign up now!

What Our Members Say

An independent organization like NAOSA is really needed. It’s so hard to find the right information these days and even harder to find businesses and professionals who I know I can trust. Thank you NAOSA!

    Retired CPA
    Retired CPA

    Lakeland, Florida

    The NAOSA consumer guides are great. Clear explanations, without all the complex language, is extremely important in helping me make the right decision.


      Potomac, Maryland

      NAOSA has brought me tremendous value when networking with like-minded professionals, it has really helped me stand out from the crowd. I highly recommend it.

        NAOSA Member
        NAOSA Member

        Austin, Texas

        In a world filled with mistrust and spin, honesty and integrity offer a tremendous opportunity for professionals and businesses who do business the right way.

          Anthony L. Cinotti
          Anthony L. Cinotti

          Founder of National Association of Senior Advocates

          Use NAOSA To Your Advantage

          Unhappy with a company? NAOSA would like to hear from you.

          Questions? Need Assistance? Please contact us.