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How to Find a Contractor

If you’re in need of a contractor, you should start your search by asking family and friends who have hired a contractor for recommendations.  If they had a bad experience with a contractor, they’ll be sure to tell you about it and help you decide whether or not the contracting company they used is qualified to do your project.  If they had a good experience, you can feel good about hiring the same contractor based on their recommendation.

How do you go about finding a reliable and qualified contractor if you don’t know anyone who can give you a recommendation?  Looking for a contractor online can be a good start, but you’ll need to know what steps to take to screen the contractors in order to find a good match for your needs.

Make a list of five or six contracting companies that do work in your area.  Call each one to explain the work you need to have done and listen to what the company has to say about your project regarding their experience and how long they think it would take to complete the work.  Narrow your list down to three or four who seem the most qualified and reliable and ask them to provide you with references and whether or not you can view their portfolio.  Many times, contractors will set up an appointment with you to view jobs they’re currently working on or have recently finished.

The process of screening contractors may seem very time consuming, but in order to find a reliable and qualified contractor who will do the work without causing stress or headaches, you’ll want to put forth a little effort during the selection process!

Keep in mind that the contractor who speaks well and is a good salesperson on the phone may not be the most qualified on the job.  Sometimes, the opposite is true so don’t judge the book by it’s cover.  On the other hand, a contractor who can explain things in detail and give specific ideas regarding your project is something to look for when seeking a qualified contractor.  If you can, write out a list of expectations for your project when talking with a contractor, to decrease the possibility of your project going over budget due to changes.

Qualified contractors will provide you with a written estimate, or quote for the project.  Look for quotes that include a line-by-line explanation of charges for the work.  Keep in mind that while your budget is always a priority, the most qualified and reliable contractor may not be the one who provides the lowest estimate.  It’s also possible that contractors who quote a project at extremely low prices may not be including all work involved – and that you could end up with surprise charges before the project is completed.

Choosing a reliable and qualified contractor is the first step in getting the space of your dreams.

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