Westchester Department of Consumer Protection 914-995-2155

• Avoid unlicensed contractors or any who show up at your doorstep unannounced or contact you through telemarketing.

• Avoid transient contractors. If they only have a P.O. Box address or a cell phone number, check their local references.

• Avoid contractors who demand payment in cash or want more than one-third of the total payment before work has begun.

• Get at least three estimates, especially if the job is big. In assessing the estimates, don’t always go with the low bidder. A higher price may be worth it if the contractor is the most experienced, will use better materials, will do a better job, and keep to a timeline.

• Be wary of an extremely low bid. It may be an indication that the contractor is overeager for your business, made a mistake in preparing the bid or is not including all the work quoted by the other bidders.

• Ask each contractor for references.

• Once you’ve decided on a contractor, insist on a written contract. Do NOT agree to an oral contract.

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