The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Monroe does keep an updated license on file of all Builder members, but we recommend that you, the consumer, always check the license of any contractor before hiring.
We are a trade association that helps to promote the policies that make housing a national priority. We were chartered on May 16, 1969. The HBA consists of Builder members regulated by the State of Michigan and Associate members (suppliers, subcontractors, industries and professionals) affiliated with the building industry.
The purpose of the association is to promote the building industry and the welfare of those affiliated with it; To help members become more professional by educating members and the public; To work for the benefit of the public via government representation and consumer education; To provide services to members and function as a central source of information for members and the public, thereby gaining their respect and trust.
Since 1969, the Association has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large. Each year, the HBA members contribute cash, building materials, supplies, and volunteer hours to community charities through local community service projects.
How to choose/hire a contractor
Develop an idea of what you want to have built/done. Prioritize your needs and wants. Look at magazines and Web sites and collect pictures of what you like. This way you can accurately convey your vision to the designer/architect of your project. Look at new homes whenever you can. No matter how big or small your project you can get many ideas from touring new homes. Home Tours and open houses sponsored by builders are good opportunities to look at homes. You may also ask a builder to see unfurnished homes. Figure out how much money you have to spend on the job, the furnishings, and the landscaping. If necessary, talk to lenders and find out how much you can borrow and at what cost. Once you have thought about what you want, you will need to find a contractor.
Seek referrals from:
Local trade associations like the Home Builders Association of Monroe.
Contractors who actively participate in a trade association often have a leg up because the association helps to keep its members informed about new products, construction techniques, business practices, and industry issues. Participation demonstrates a contractor’s commitment to professionalism and the industry.
Friends, family, neighbors, coworkers,
and others who have had remodeling work done
Building materials suppliers, architects,
engineers, home building officials, local lenders, and insurance professionals
Local Home Shows
offer a convenient place to find many contractors in one location.
Once you have a list of potential contractors:
Ask to see before and after photos of their products, if they are available.
Ask the contractor to share with you names and contact information of customers.
Take the time to see the contractor’s work.
Talk to several references.
Remember, the more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of the contractor you are likely to get.
To further your comfort level, you should:
Check with your local or State office of consumer protection and the local Better Business Bureau.
Check with your State’s licensing agency and State and local building officials to see if they have received any complaints about the contractor and to verify that they have the appropriate license and registration.
Be sure the contractor carries insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or jobsite injuries.
Red Flags: Signs of the Un-Professional
• Doesn't have license and insurance. All professional contractors in Michigan should be licensed and insured and able to show their licenses/certificates.
• Doesn't write contracts. Professional contractors have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost. This helps clarify how problems will be managed. If there is not a contract, neither the contractor nor the homeowner is protected when something goes wrong.
• Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Homeowners have been stranded when paying in full up front.
• Vastly underbids all other contractors. They may have the best price, but that doesn't guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality for your job. This can end up costing more when you have to redo the work.
• Cannot provide customer references. Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from their current and past clients.