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  • Use ServiceMagic to pre-screen customer-rated "home inspection" contractors: click here

    or use the local yellow pages to search:
    home inspectors

  • The ASHI sets the standards for home inspections and requires its members to abide by a code of ethics and standards.

    ASHI Inspector search:
  • Most inspectors use a checklist that they mark and note any repairs as they inspect the home. The Inspection Report usually provides maintenance tips on how to keep the home and property in good shape.

    Top-ten inspection list — from

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view: contract negotiations

Selecting Your Professional Builder / Service Provider

Start with a Pre-Screening Search:

· first and foremost, begin your search using the ServiceMagic pre-screened network of home building contractors and service professionals
· ServiceMagic maintains a rating system submitted by previous customers on various contractors and service professionals

You may view this rating system prior to selecting your contractor: view rating sample
· ServiceMagic will also guarantee the service. That is the assurance you need to make sure the project is done correctly: see service guarantee

begin your selection process here

Make Sure the Building Contractor has NARI Membership (if you are building or remodeling your home):

· the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) represents building and remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, and other industry specialists
· the association is committed to enhancing the professionalism of the home building/remodeling industry


NARI members must abide by the NARI code of ethics: view code of ethics
· NARI certification includes exams and certification classes: view certification steps

more information about the NARI: visit

contact the NARI chapter within your area for information about a potential contractor: view NARI chapter directory

Investigate Their Established Business:

· check the contractor's place of business, phone number, and other industry associations — make sure they are valid establishments


make sure the contractor is fully licensed with local and state governments, if required

check with your local jurisdiction to ensure the license is valid and up-to-date — do not base the contractor's license with a business card or verbal commitment

lookup state, county and city governments for information on the contractor's license for professional services:

· make sure the contractor is fully insured and carries worker's compensation, liability insurance and property damage insurance — ask to review the documentation
· check with your local Better Business Bureaus, building associations, and other consumer protection agencies:
view the Better Business Bureau

ensure that there is no outstanding complaints, fines, or penalties issued against the contractor — if so, make sure the contractor provides a valid explanation
· you can view more information about selecting your contractor:
from the national association of the remodeling industry

Interview the Contractor:


meet with the contractor face-to-face — be prepared to show what work needs to be performed

· be detail in your specs — this increases the likelihood that the contractor is the right person for the job


be prepared to ask questions about the contractor and your project — note that you are looking for the person with best all-around service and qualification


sample question include:

— business establishment
— time frame
— operation policy
— certifications and permits
— insurance
— crew and use of subcontractors, if any
— review of sample projects
— other


the NARI has a complete list of interview questions:
view interview questions

NARI also provides a summary of "warning signs" during interviews: click here

Check References:


request for a list of references from previous clients — contact these references to inquiry on the contractor's work habits, completion schedule, clean up, and any other related issues or problems that the previous client may have experienced

sample questions to ask —


question: did the contractor complete the project within your satisfaction?


question: was the project completed on time?

· question: did the contractor fulfill his or her part of the contract or service agreement?
· question: was the contractor easy to communicate with?
· question: did the contractor and his crew showed up on time?
· question: were you satisfied with the subcontractors that your contractor used?
· question: would you recommend this contractor again without hesitation?
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