If you are a New Yorker and have decided to hire a home improvement contractor, consider this article a must read as it lists all the essential things you need to bear in mind before hiring a home improvement contractor NYC.

What part requires renovation

What part of your home requires improvement? Is it the bathroom? The kitchen? The living room? Or the roof? A lot depends on this. kitchen remodeling is more expensive than roof replacement. According to Home Advisor survey, a typical homeowner spends around $9000 for remodeling their roof. On the other hand, kitchen renovation can cost as much as $60000.

So keep in mind that your budget and the number of staff who will be working on your house could greatly vary depending on which part of your home requires renovation.

Why you need renovation

Sometimes remodeling is necessary and sometimes it’s only to increase the aesthetic appeal of the house. Before hiring a home improvement contractor NYC, you should be absolutely sure why you need renovation. Understand that even when you are renovating the house only for it to look better than before, it’s still not just a fancy wish but an investment for the future.


You could mortgage the house later and expect it to have great value in the market. If you renovate the outer walls or change the shingles on the roof, mortgage refinance loan might be easier to obtain and the interest rate might be in your favor.

The DCA license

You should be certain that the home improvement contractor NYC you are going to hire is the right person to handle the work. Tell him to produce the DCA home improvement license. The license certifies that the license holder is capable of construction, renovation and remodelling of a house.

Whether you hire an independent home improvement contractor NYC or an agency, ask them to show DCA license. However, if the improvement cost is $200 or less, you can skip the license part. Also, don’t forget to ask them what they specialize. Some are specialized in basement remodelling whereas some improve fences and garages. The license is a proof that DCA Home Improvement Contractor Trust Fund has done a background check and found the contractor suitable to carry out home improvement work.

Ask for reference

Positive references indicate the contractor is capable enough to handle construction and remodeling work as he has done so before and his clients were satisfied with his performance. Ask your family members, friends and casual acquaintances for referral but don’t limit your inquiry to them. Feel free to dial 311 if you live in New York to call the DCA office.

Not only you will get authentic references from them, but you will also get to know whether consumers have reported any complaint against the contractor in the past. DCA receives plenty of complaints from homeowners every year, in which homeowners describe why the work done by the contractor failed to impress them. It could be violation of contract, non-delivery of service or poor quality of work.

Be careful with payment

Two rules of thumb to follow when you are hiring a home improvement contractor NYC. First, never pay upfront unless you have a written contract. Second, try not to pay in cash. Paying upfront without a legally enforceable contract means losing your bargaining chip. If the contractor doesn’t deliver you the service that you expect him to deliver, you cannot legally accuse him.

Paying in cash is not recommended because there will be no proof of payment afterwards. Digital transactions are recommended because such transactions can be tracked on a later date. Sometimes, contractors insist homeowners to pay in cash. Stand your ground if they do the same with you.

Homeowners’ liability coverage

In New York and in most other states, homeowners are held liable for any injury the contractor incurs. So keep in mind that the risk of a potential lawsuit is always there. You can mitigate the risk by creating a safe working environment for the contractor. Aside from that, you might have to talk to a qualified lawyer to know the legal ramifications of any physical damage caused to the contractor during work.

Do everything you can to avoid workplace injuries for the contractor. In case you fail, understand that paying damage largely depends on the circumstances. For example, if you hire the contractor for replacing shingles on your roof and he incurs injuries, he won’t be able to sue you for he knew the work involves danger when he took it up.

Summing up

When you follow the tips discussed here, hiring an experienced home improvement contractor becomes incredibly easy for you. You end up hiring a competent contractor and receives services from them at the most optimized rate.

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