As with any major purchase, finding the right contractor to hire entails much more than just finding the lowest price. Ability to communicate, choice of products offered, types of materials, attention to detail and quality of workmanship will all play important roles in your overall satisfaction with the job. But regardless how large or small the job, when deciding on a contractor there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for contractor referrals.
  • Check out the contractor with your local or state consumer protection officials or the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask the contractor for customer references who have projects similar to yours.
  • Ask for a copy of the contractor’s current insurance certificates and licenses, if required.
  • How accessible is the owner? An owner of a company is more than just a name on a sign, they are the person who sets the standards that all else is judged from.┬áBeing able to reach them is important.
  • Are their work crews employees or subcontractors? Having a contractor with his own employees ensures an extra level of quality control.
  • Ask if the contractor’s technicians have any special certifications or training.
  • Get written estimates from several firms. Make sure bids are based on identical project specifications.
  • Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing.
  • Ask the contractor if they offer any special products or warranties. Because of the disparity in quality among contractors, most building supply manufacturers offer preferred programs, products or warranties only through select contracting companies that meet the most stringent requirements.