What length of warranty should we expect from a contractor who’ll be building a cottage addition for us?

What length of warranty should we expect from a contractor who’ll be building a cottage addition for us?

Hiring a contractor is trickier than it seems, and warranty periods are the least of your worries. That’s because it’s easy for unscrupulous contractors to wiggle out of warranty obligations. What you need to do is establish three key things:

  1. check out references from previous clients dating back as long as possible;
  2. establish a detailed list of items that go into the project;
  3. settle on a payment schedule that includes completion milestones that must be set before payment is made.

A reasonable arrangement is 30% of payment when framing is complete and passed inspection, 30% after plumbing, electrical and mechanicals are installed, then 30% after completion. Hold back the final 10% for at least a month after completion, to make sure no liens have been placed against your property.

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