building an addition or deck? Here are some tips from your Building
- Get all estimates and warranties
- Do not be induced by high
pressure sales tactics, such as special prices if you sign a
- Take time to check
references. Ask for at least 3 references - one for a project
that is current or recently completed. Another completed about a
year ago and one from at least 2-3 years ago. Call these
references and ask how satisfied they were with the workmanship,
if work was completed in the estimated time, and if any warranty
work was required.
- Check with the Better Business
Bureau regarding any complaints. Access their website
- Never sign a contract with blank
spaces or one that you do not fully understand. If you are
taking a loan to finance the work, do not sign the contract
before lender approves it. Important: Mail signed contract to
contractor’s address and verify receipt.
- You have 3 business days from
the time you sign to cancel any contract if the sale is made at
your home. The contractor cannot deprive you of this right by
initiating work, selling your contract to a lender, or any other
- Ask your contractor if they are
registered with the Village. Call the Building Department at
708-671-3733 to verify registration. You must provide the
Building Department a brief description of the proposed project
to determine whether a permit is required. If a permit is not
required, the contractor still must be registered with the
Village. If a permit is required, you or your contractor must
obtain and post it in plain view prior to commencing any work.
Basic Terms to be Included in a
- Contractor’s full name,
address, and telephone number. Illinois law requires that
persons selling home repair and improvement services provide
their customers with notice of any change to their business
name or address that occur prior to the agreed dates for
beginning or completing the work.
- A description of all work to
- Starting and estimated
- Total cost of work to be
- Schedule and method of
payment, including down payment, subsequent payments, and
final payment. Important: Owner should request material and
labor waivers for work performed when requested to make
subsequent payments. You should always receive final waivers
for labor and for all materials delivered to your home from
non-contracted sources such as ready-mix, lumber, roofing
suppliers, etc. when making final payments. The waivers
serve as proof that payment was made by your contractor for
all labor and materials used on your project and will
protect you from liens against your property.
- A provision stating grounds
for termination of the contract by either party. The
homeowner must pay the contractor for any work completed. If
the contractor fails to commence or complete work within the
contracted time period, the homeowner may cancel and be
entitled to a refund of any down payment or other payments
made toward the work upon written demand by certified mail.
- Always keep a copy of the
signed contract in a safe place for reference as needed.
It is important that you know your
consumer rights in regard to home repairs. Ask the Building Department
for a copy of Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan’s pamphlet titled
“HOME REPAIR - Know Your Consumer Rights.”
For more information, contact the Building Department at (708)671-3730.