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How to Choose a Contractor

When you pay a contractor they should have to earn every penny you spend; good ones do, and poor ones will try to take as much as they can from you. Good contractors are worth spending the extra money on as they have acquired extensive skill sets over many years and can provide you with faster and higher quality services than less experienced ones.

A good contractor has a knowledge of the trades involved in your project and in most cases has even worked in them. They know how to spot poor work and to make sure things are done properly. They know how to bid a job fairly and accurately. They also know how to hire and maintain good help.

You may have heard about contracting nightmares and be thinking that they don't exist but fret not as they are more common than you think. Start your contractor search by asking for references. If a contractor is good and has nothing to hide they should have no qualms providing you with solid references from former clients that they did a good job for. Be sure to prepare a list of questions and contact the reference they provide. Gather information about what their initial budget was and if there were budget overruns. Did they get the work done according to the schedule? Were they easy to deal with? How did they handle changes that were requested?

You should also ask for their contractor license number and check with the Better Business Bureau and contracting agencies. See if complaints exist against them. Find out when they were made and what they were for. Also, feel free to bring this up when discussing your job with contractors. If they made honest mistakes or the complaints are fraudulent they should have no problems informing you of this upon request.

If you follow these guidelines your quest for the perfect contractor should be relatively painless. Gather as much information as you can to ensure that you make an informed decision.

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