When it comes to real estate, there is no such thing as an oral contract. It’s especially important to get things right when dealing with contractors. No handshake deals. My ex and i who was an attorney put our kids through college on broken trust issues,
When you are dealing with a contractor, you need a written contract. It has to have a start and finish date and penalties for not adhering. Ca. law says that you only have to give a 10% down payment- not the 50% they want. Don’t fall into the trap that they have to buy supplies. Any contractor who does not have a home depot credit card is a loser and should be avoided,
Make sure the scope of work is called that and not an estimate. Estimates are vague and can be changed during the course of the work. Get a line by line report broken down by item cost and labor cost. Read everything and be prepared to challenge. You should have done your homework in advance. Go to a local home depot store and learn what things cost so you won’t get shafted.
Divide the work in segments and give them a draw of a percentage that you agree on upfront when they complete that segment.
NEVER PAY IN FULL UNTIL THEY ARE DONE AND THE CITY’S BUILDING AND SAFETY DEPARTMENT HAS APPROVED THE WORK.
I don’t care how nice the contractor is, get it in writing down to the last minute detail.