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Selection of tools in the shape of a house, home improvement concept

Simple Steps to Help Find the Right Contractor

Recently, I agreed to help a friend who was having difficulty finding a few good contractors. Their experience up to that point included contractors not showing up as scheduled (one even stated they were at the property when they were not), trying to add work that did not need to be done, and showing up but never delivering a quote afterward.

Our mission was clear, and we started by following a few simple screening steps.

We checked reviews from multiple sources including Facebook, Nextdoor and Google. We looked at old and new reviews alike. Did they respond to the reviews? If someone was unhappy with the work that was done, was a resolution offered? Were they professional? Spending a little time here saved us a lot of headaches down the road.

We also went to Lowe’s in the early morning and noted the contractors’ trucks in the parking lot. Menards and Home Depot work as well – Lowe’s was the closest. We went inside to the aisles that pertained to the work we needed done (electrical, plumbing, decking) and asked people there if they had space for available work. If they did, we got their name and number, and gave them ours as well.

Next, we called them and had them come out to give an estimate for the needed jobs. We also asked for their certificate of insurance information. We asked for a detailed estimate, which would help us compare each quote (scope of work, length of time to complete the job, any guarantees they offer, etcetera).

We selected a few that we felt were a match for the job and called their insurance provider to find out their policy limits, verify coverage, and verify that the policy is still active.

Once we made our selections, a deposit was made and we went through the home to prep the space, removing clutter to make access easier and ensure the contractor can move around safely while doing the work. Was it tedious? Yes. Should you do your research before hiring someone to come into your home? Also yes. It might help to treat the process like a treasure hunt, because the reality of it is that a good contractor is a true treasure and worth their weight in gold.

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