Finding a reputable contractor can be a big job. After all, things like leaky faucets and worn-out floors might seem like small, easily-fixable problems… but a bad contractor can take a simple problem like this and make it ten times as complicated (and as expensive) as it should be! A good contractor will fix your problem and positively impact your situation, but a bad one can make the situation much worse!
There is definitely no shortage of reputable, professional contractors out there, but finding them and figuring out how to weed out the bad ones are two areas that end up stumping a lot of people. To be honest, a lot of people will jump at the first individual or company that they can find to fix their problem, regardless of whether or not they have proof or references testifying to the fact that they are, indeed, legally licensed professionals!
So how DO you find these professionals, and how do you avoid problems when you are trying to figure out who is good at what they do and who is not? Well, here is how you can get started.
Finding Your Professional
The first thing that you need to do is figure out where to find a few professional contractors. Always try to look for more than one, and always get more than one estimate (three or more is actually the best idea when it comes to getting and comparing proposals and prices). A look in the phone book will generally point you to several options. You can also look through the newspaper classifieds. Here are some other options that you might want to explore while looking for a reputable contractor for your home improvement/repair project…
- Ask friends and family if they can refer someone
- Ask co-workers if they have ever needed similar work done, and ask who they got to do it
- Browse online directories or do a Google search for that type of contractor in your area
- Look on Craigslist for a professional, or post the job on Craigslist
- Go to Angieslist.com to look for contractors in your area who you might be able to contact
Once you have several estimates from contractors who are interested in your job, it is time to start looking for any problem-signs that could lead to difficulty or trouble later on.
Spotting ‘Problems’ Before They Get Complicated
While it is not always possible to spot problems before they arise, some simple investigative and research skills can definitely reduce your chances of hiring the wrong person significantly! Here is a brief checklist that you can use to ensure that the ‘professional’ in question is definitely a professional and not just a fly-by-night moonlighter looking to make an extra buck at your expense. Using this checklist on all of your prospects will no doubt narrow down your choices to the most professional candidates.
Does this contractor have…
- A valid business license?
- Liability insurance?
- Good references?
- A good reputation among friends and family?
- A professional demeanor?
- Good customer service skills?
- The ability and the desire to communicate effectively?
- A good reputation on Angieslist.com?
- The skills, knowledge, and experience to complete the job correctly?
- An affordable price and a clear, detailed estimate of what it will take to complete the job?
If a contractor does not pass this checklist with flying colors, then you will definitely want to dig deeper and reevaluate the situation before proceeding. If, however, you can find a contractor that does indeed test positive on all of these points, then that is a great sign that you might have found an actual reputable, professional contractor for the job at hand.
Whether the job involves finding a fence company in Milwaukee, replacing your roof, installing a new sink, or building on an entire new room; it is absolutely important to make sure that you have found professional, reputable help for the job. Failing to find good, high quality help will no doubt result in a waste of time and money. Finding the right professional for the job, however, will result in the elimination of your problem at an affordable price. This professional will not stress you out or make you wish that you had never hired them in the first place!
Benjamin Baker is a research hound who is as addicted to writing as he is to playing the guitar, camping, and fishing. He is an avid fly-fisherman, and also enjoys visiting antique shops and junk yards with his sons to find interesting tools and relics that they can use for their many projects around the house. Benjamin actually came up with this article while he was using websites like www.a1-fence.com to find out what it would take to get ceder fencing installed in his yard.He wanted to come up with an article that could help people like himself who might be searching for a reputable contractor for their own home project, repair, or renovation.