Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Nelson Kranker, Director of Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs, have released guidelines for county residents to reference when dealing with home improvement contractors.
“Every year the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs receives inquiries from homeowners who are planning, or have already contracted for, home improvements. Many of these inquiries are actual complaints about incomplete or inferior workmanship. With the development of these guidelines, our goal is to educate consumers about problems that can be prevented before they occur,” County Executive Steinhaus said.
Director of Dutchess County Consumer Affairs, Nelson Kranker suggests remembering six key words when looking for a home improvement contractor; preparation, references, caution, contract, payment and follow-through.
“It is important to know what you want before you contact a contractor and you should make sure you ask for and check references,” said Kranker. “You must also determine your comfort level with the contractors you’re considering. Get estimates from several contractors. Ask questions. A reputable contractor will be more than willing to answer them,” he added.
The guidelines released also give information on signs that indicate a less than reputable contractor and the importance of a written contract beforehand to avoid trouble later on. The Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs also recommends limiting the down payment on a contract and paying increments based on progress. And lastly, following-through, once you’ve laid the foundation for a successful home repair or improvement project be sure to monitor the job until you are satisfied.
For a free copy of the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs brochure Home Improvement: Tools You Can Use please contact 845/486-2949, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs, 98 Peach Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.