Lake LBJ

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Tips for Working with Home Improvement Contractors

The Lake LBJ Group All City Real Estate
Jeff Spears has lived full time on Lake LBJ since 2002. Jeff is a true Lake LBJ Waterfront Specialist with local expertise based on personal and professional experience. Jeff's number one priority is always doing what is best for his clients.

Most buyers and sellers desire to make improvements or repairs to their home. Working with reliable contractors can be a challenge to say the least. Here are my suggestions for improving your odds of success.

Ask if their business is registered. Are they bonded/insured with business coverage.

Ask for referrals and call several previous customers. Ask to see samples of work.

Get a written estimate that includes a statement of work and projected timeline. Both parties should sign the document.

Discuss who will be doing the actual work. What are their qualifications? Is the contractor going to be onsite on a regular basis? What will be the normal hours of work?

Most important - Do not pay upfront! According to national standards, contractors should never get more than 10% in advance. I would suggest zero. If the contractor needs money upfront for materials, pay directly for the materials yourself so you know exactly where your money is going. You can set up accounts with Home Depot or Lowe’s to allow your contractor to pick up supplies with you authorizing payment by phone.

Discuss payment arrangements in advance of the work. Depending on the timeline and size of the work, it may make sense to pay installments as the work progresses. For smaller jobs, payment on completion of work should be acceptable.

Finally, ask to see a valid driver’s license and make sure it is current. Ask the contractor if they or any workers have a criminal record. It is your money and potential safety being placed at risk, so you have every right to make sure you are comfortable.

Best wishes for a successful project. I would love to hear how it goes.

Curious about any local real estate topics? Please submit questions by email at, or feel free to give me a call on my direct line at 325-248-4369.

Jeff Spears is a Licensed Broker in the State of Texas working with The Lake LBJ Group All City Real Estate in Horseshoe Bay. If you have a contractual relationship with another Broker, this is not a solicitation for your business.

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