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Hiring a Contractor

Choosing the right contractor is the most important decision you will make in your project. Here is how Consumer Reports recommends you choose a contractor:

  • Plan for success. Get three bids to gauge the going rate for work. But don't jump at the lowest bid; our surveys have shown that people often go with the lowest bid which sometimes isnt the best, you are having work done on your home, so hire the contractor you TRUST the most to work on your most priced possession!



  • Feel Comfortable. Hire a contractor you trust, if a contractor doesnt have a company name, cant supply proof of insurance and has no website or references etc so you can check out their past jobs then that could very well be a RED flag.


  • Get photos of past jobs.  . Reputable contractors will be happy to provide names and photos, information for satisfied customers. Then check the work to see how it’s holding up. See if a contractor has customer reviews on his/her website.


  • Look for proper Registration and Insurance. Make sure the contractor is Registered to do business in your state and that he has proper general liability. Check with your local government for permit requirements and confirm with the contractor who is responsible for paying for permits. Also ask for references and check out a companies website to check photos and customer ratings..Get written warranty of work performed by contractor. 1 year labor is typical for GOOD contractors. 


  • FEEL COMFORTABLE with the contractor you hire. This is your home, make sure its the right fit.


  • Obtain a contract. A written contract will specify what will be done to complete the job, associated costs, and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces.
  • Stick with the plans.Making changes to plans after work begins could lead to cost overruns and delays.


  • Pay by check or Credit card. Write out the check to the contracting company rather than to an individual. NEVER pay full amount of contract until work is completed. A down payment at sign of contract and then % as job goes on.


  • Make final payments only when the work is completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign documents if the job is not finished properly.