Most contractors are honest, reliable and skilled, but some are not. Here are suggestions on how to find good contractors:
- Decide in advance what the job will involve. Draw sketches and clip pictures to show to prospective contractors.
- Get more than one estimate. Make sure all contractors are bidding on exactly the same work. Make sure the contractor comes to the job site rather than giving a telephone estimate. Be leery of an extremely low estimate.
- Ask for the names of the contractor’s recent customers and call to see if they are satisfied. Did the contractor show up on time, clean up afterward, perform follow-up service on warranties? Would they hire the contractor again? Use one of the best contractor references around – a referral from a trusted neighbor or friend.
- Ask the contractor for required licenses – as a business and for the individuals on the jobsite (when required).
- Verify the contractor has appropriate insurance coverage – for liability and Worker’s Compensation, for instance.
- Make sure you get a complete, clearly written contract for any work to be done. Do not rely on verbal agreements. All changes to the job should be put in writing before they occur. Be sure to check warranties on materials and labor.
- Contact Consumer Protection, 800-422-7128, and the Better Business Bureau, 800-273-1002, to find out if complaints have been filed against the contractor.