Home improvement season is in full swing. It’s the time of year when residents can fall victim to shoddy workmanship and construction scams.

Hiring the right contractor for the job requires attention to detail. The Grove City Building Division is an important resource to lean on as you move ahead. As you plan and bid your project, hire only contractors who have registered with the City. All contractors doing business locally are required to register with the Building Division. While this registration does not guarantee expertise, it does provide accountability and leverage. Most contractors will work to avoid problems to protect their registration status.

Here are more tips to help you have a smooth home-improvement project:

  • Know clearly what you want; unclear or changing instructions make for an expensive project.
  • Put everything in writing. Include all facets of the project, including dates and deadlines.
  • Include penalties. Add a motivational clause such as “$100 per day will be deducted from the contract price for each day the job is unfinished after Sept. 15, 2016.”
  • Don’t assume a contract will prevent all problems. Contracts help, but unreasonable parties on either side can ignore them or use literal readings to complicate matters. Find someone you can work with and keep your eyes open for problems.
  • Don’t pay too much up front and never pay in full before the job is complete.
  • Don’t automatically hire the first contractor you find. Ask others for referrals or recommendations based upon a job similar to yours.
  • Don’t assume there will be no problems. Issues such as weather delays, employee turnover and more will occur. Some problems are to be anticipated, but the contractor must work out the issues to your satisfaction.
  • Do not expect neatness during the project, but be clear in the contract the jobsite is to be cleaned up at the end of the job.

Remember that most home improvement projects require a permit, for your safety. If you are in doubt, call the Building Division at 614-277-3075.