At Pristine Painting & Home Improvement, we understand how important it is to make the right decision when choosing a home improvement contractor.

Whether you decide to go with us (and we hope you do) or with someone else, make sure you do your homework. Keep the following in mind:

Choosing a Contractor “Top Ten” List

  1. Have a clear idea in your own mind of the project you want done. Have pictures or sketches. Don’t be talked into something you’re not comfortable with.
  2. Research. Use the Web. Ask friends, family, and neighbors about the home improvement contractors they have used.
  3. Registration counts. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires contractors to be registered and to display their six-digit registration number on all advertisements, contracts, and permits (note that our number is found at the bottom of every page of this website). You can check the Board of Building Regulations and Standards and the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Licensing Counts. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that any contractor pulling a permit have a construction supervisor license. It’s a common – and dangerous – practice for the unscrupulous contractor to ask the homeowner to pull the permit in their name as the homeowner. Homeowners are allowed to pull certain permits on their primary residence; however, this is intended for when homeowners do the work themselves. If a homeowner pulls the permit and allows another person to perform the work for pay, the homeowner is disqualified from participation in the Commonwealth’s Guaranty Fund – which protects him/her from these very same contractors. Furthermore, beware of the contractor that pulls the permit with somebody else’s license. There are also less-than-ethical licensed contractors who will “rent” out their license for a fee. Licensing and registration is in place to protect the consumer and the public. Be sure you have the state on your side and that you’re protected.
  5. Compare quotes. Get at least three, and keep in mind that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best deal. Make sure you look at the whole package.
  6. Check references. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but you’re better off actually speaking with former clients (and checking out the work in person). If a contractor is reluctant to give you references, be suspicious.
  7. Consider your contract carefully (and make sure you ALWAYS get one — don’t rely on verbal promises). Read it. Ask questions. Understand the terms and conditions. Seek legal counsel if necessary. Don’t succumb to signing pressure (a good contractor won’t pressure you anyway). Keep a copy for your records. NEVER sign a blank contract.
  8. Make sure the contractor is insured.
  9. Keep records of everything.
  10. Go with your gut. If you feel uncomfortable with a contractor (even if you don’t know why), follow your instincts and use someone else.

For further reading, check out these articles: