Whether you are planning to upgrade your home, add a new deck or repair your garage, you will need to hire a contractor. The good news is that you can get the job done with the help of a home equity loan. These loans allow you to borrow against your home, as long as you have at least 20 percent equity. However, you may have to go through a lengthy underwriting process.
The amount you can borrow depends on your personal financial situation, as well as the type of project you want to do. These loans are also secured by your home, making them an attractive option for homeowners. Typically, these loans come with fixed monthly payments and are paid back over five to thirty-year terms.
When hiring a contractor, you need to make sure that he or she is licensed in your state. In addition, you should check to see if he or she has insurance. You can also ask to speak to people who have used him or her in the past. Depending on your budget, you might be able to work out a payment schedule with your contractor. You can also get a detailed list of prices from multiple contractors to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
In addition, you should have a written contract outlining all the details of your project, including the price and payment schedule. Your contractor should also be honest about the costs of your renovation. If he or she fails to meet this requirement, you could be subject to a $500 civil penalty and a possible lawsuit for actual damages. You can also get a court order from the Attorney General to compensate you for any losses that you might have suffered.
Lastly, you should check to see if your contractor is licensed in the city and county in which you live. In some counties, you can assign your license to another contractor. In other counties, you are required to have your own license. You can also check to see if the contractor you are considering has a good record with the Better Business Bureau.
In addition to checking to see if your contractor is properly licensed, you should also check to see if he or she is insured. You should also find out how many years he or she has been in the business. Often, older firms will have a better reputation with their customers because they have more experience. You should also ask for references from people who have worked with the contractor.
In some states, you can be fined up to $500 for engaging in “home improvement” without a license. In New York, you can be fined up to $5,000 for doing the same activity. In addition, you can be subject to the seizure of vehicles used for unlicensed home improvement activities.
According to a recent Axiom survey, a majority of consumers plan to spend more time on their home projects in 2021 than they did in 2011. Among these, the most popular categories are work outside of the house (up 238%), remodeling, landscaping, and fencing.