Hiring a contractor

Before you Hire a Company
1. Research the company with Better Business Bureau and you can search a database with the Missouri Attorney General or the Ohio Attorney General
2. Ask for references — ask if they are related to the contractor and visit their home to see the work for yourself
3. Get a specific contract with a start and end time and payment installments
4. Don’t pay upfront — pay the supplier yourself to avoid liens
5. Get a lien waiver
6. Google the company
7. Ask for proof of insurance and verify it’s current w/ insurance agent
8. Ask about credentials — an organization that I find reputable is NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)
9. Check the courts to see if the company has legal problems

RESOURCES
KANSAS COURTS
Johnson County Courts
You can search criminal and civil cases from your home
For best results, click partial name search
To see documents, go to the clerk’s office and that computer will
show you the documents online for newer cases

Wyandotte County Courts
Subscription only

Missouri Courts
You can’t see documents, just charges, judgements, and case history
You have to go to the courthouse to see specific documents

Ohio Courts
Cuyahoga County

NARI
NARI is an organization I often look to when I’m looking for an expert in the field. The Kansas City organization is full of certified leaders in their respective trades. It’s not that easy to become a member of NARI which means it’s full of the cream of the crop.

The organization will help you arbitrate your problem if an issue arises. I can tell you from working with NARI, that they don’t like when companies net complaints. NARI works to resolve the issue quickly, and often doesn’t tolerate members with problems. This is a great resource for consumers. I highly recommend at least getting one bid from these professionals. It might cost you a little more, but could save you money in the end.

In KC – Search NARI’s local database of contractors
Nationally – Search NARI’s national database of contractors

In Cleveland, the Cleveland Home Improvement Council which was operating as the NARI chapter for Cleveland disbanded from the national NARI organization. That’s according to the old website, and it redirects you to Professional Remodelers of Ohio. I don’t have professional experience with this organization yet, but it appears to have similar goals as NARI. You can search the website’s database for professional remodelers.

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