Due Diligence in 10 Easy Steps. Due diligence is defined as an investigation of a potential investment (such as a stock) or product to confirm all facts. These facts can include such items as reviewing all financial records, past company performance, plus anything else deemed material
For clients who want to hire a builder/contractor, I recommend some due diligence before signing the contract. I saw so many nightmares that could have been solved with these simple steps.
Let’s be very clear about this. There are many many outstanding builders and contractors out there. The problem, as with any profession, is that you only need to get one bad one to live through a personal nightmare. Use these practical rules to find and hire a good builder, and you’ll save $1,000s in attorney’s fees, not to mention other costs, stress, and sometimes even divorce (yes it has happened).
- Do not simply open the Yellow Pages and pick a Builder.
- Do not choose a Builder simply because he seems nice.
- Do get a reliable referral to a good Builder. That means the referral comes from someone who is known to be reliable and who knows the Builder.
- Do your due diligence on the prospective Builder. Investigate thoroughly.
- Look at some of his houses, inside & out, and talk to previous customers. Be careful. You can still be fooled here. You can find one or two happy customers with every builder.
- Check on his state license/registration, which can easily be done on the Internet Here (New Jersey) Use the State’s checklist, also, but notice they don’t tell you what NOT to do, which is where many of the traps are.
- On the same State Internet resource, you can check the Builder’s status, infractions, bond, and pending lawsuits. DO IT! Believe it or not, the vast majority of people do this only after they get into trouble with the Builder.
- Check your local county superior court clerk’s office for pending lawsuits against your prospective Builder. This can be done on the Internet by searching his company and personal name (in most counties in the U.S.)
- After all this, interview your prospective Builder/Contractor, and see if you like him. If you don’t, I strongly recommend you keep looking. Gut feelings are important. You’ve spent a lifetime learning how to read people. Don’t ignore that lifetime of experience now. Here you should judge the book by its cover.
- Ask for a copy of his standard contract and take it home to review it. Get a professional opinion on that contract. It seems every Builder uses a different contract, and many of them are grossly one-sided. There are several critical contract issues you want unambiguously addressed in the contract.
- and last , always get 3 quotes before picking one and do your best gut feeling analysis and yes, do listen to your wife
- Last don’t write check or give check till job is done.
- Take picture of ID
Rest good luck
Realtor Vylla Home
Where to file complaints if you feel you are cheated
How to File a Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division – Civil Part How to File a Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey (njcourts.gov)
Advice for Home Improvement Contractors:
To advertise and perform home improvement work legally in New Jersey, contractors must register with the State Division of Consumer Affairs. Registration materials are available at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/HIC/HIC_application.htm.
Supervising Investigator Jennifer Micco along with Investigators Joseph Iasso and Jared O’Cone, of the State Division of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection, led this investigation. Deputy Attorneys General Glenn Graham, Ja-Juin Ho, Nicholas Kant, Jeff Koziar, Frank Marasco, Cathleen O’Donnell, Joshua Rabinowitz, Patricia Schrirpo and Alina Wells of the Divison of Law represented the State in this matter.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey ) or 973-504-6200.
You can verify license of a plumber, electrician, or other contractor in New Jersey here. You will also be able to see if there were any actions taken against contractor by the boards.
New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers provides a list of disciplinary actions against New Jersey plumbers here.
Disciplinary actions against New Jersey electricians could be found here.
To complain about electrician in New Jersey use the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors complaint form.
To complain about plumber download New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers plumber complaint form. You can also find it here.
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has links to many of the Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards Complaint Forms here or here.
To compain about home improvement contractor call New Jersey Home Improvement Contractors complaints section (973) 424-8150 prompt #6.
2. New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
You may complain about a contractor or a plumber to the Office of Consumer Protection of the New Jersey Attorney General using this consumer Complaint form. Attach copies of any documents releted to your complaint and mail your complaint to:
Division of Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 45025
Newark, New Jersey 07101
For more information or to check on the complaint history of a contractor call the Consumer Service Center at (973) 504-6200
3. Better Business Bureau:
Go to http://www.bbb.org/ and enter your zip code. When your local BBB page appear click on the “FILE A COMPLAINT” link and follow directions.
4. New Jersey Small Claims: (For your information only – not a legal advice)
You can file your New Jersey small claim suit in the county where your contractor lives or where his business is located.To start your small claims lawsuit file a Small Claims Complaint and the summons with the Office of the Special Civil Part Clerk. The forms are available at any court. You can download New Jersey small claims information packet with all the forms and instructions here or from the New Jersey Courts On-Line Self-Help Center.
You can file in person or by mail. You will need an original and 2 copies of all the forms, plus two additional copies for each defendant. At the time of filing you will have to pay filing fee (currently $15 plus $2 for each additional defendant) and some processing fees (e.g. summons by mail $7 for each defendant). If filing by mail attach your check or money order to your forms.
You can find locations of the Office of the Special Civil Part Clerk here.
- Maximum monetary limit of claims: $3,000;
- Attorney: not required, but allowed;
- Right to appeal: yes, for both parties (within 45 days)
5. On-line complaints.
We collect all sorts of customer reviews, complaints, and comments here.
To post your comment on Google find your contractor in Google maps, and click the “more info” link next to the name of your contractor. On the following page, scroll down to “Reviews by Google users” and click on “Rate and review” link on the left.
There are many other websites that let you post comments and complaints about your contractor. Below you may find just a few examples:
1) http://www.ripoffreport.com (registration required),
- IF you are employee and fired for wrong reasons than reach here
How to report worker misclassification
If you have been misclassified and would like to file a complaint or seek further information you can contact the Department at:
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
1 John Fitch Plaza
P.O. Box 942
Trenton, NJ 08625-0942
Your identity and other personally identifiable information are protected from disclosure to your employer and others, with limited exceptions. For more information, click here.
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