How to Find the Right Home Contractor for the Job

Knowing how to find the right home contractor is an essential skill that just comes with the territory of owning a house. Whether you want to remodel the kitchen, finish the basement, re-do a bathroom, build a deck, or put on an addition, nothing can be accomplished until you have hired a home contractor to execute the project. But, where do you start your search? Do you look in the phone book? Ask a friend? “Google” it? How you go about finding a contractor certainly is important, but perhaps not as important as assessing whether any one contractor is qualified to undertake the work you would like performed. Remodeling your home is a significant investment of your time and money, and as with any investment, you want it to pay off in your favor.

Here are a few suggestions that can potentially help you in your search for a qualified home contractor:

  • Plan the project in your mind in advance – Doing so will help you stay within your budget and give each contractor the opportunity to bid on similar work
  • Conduct interviews – Speaking to a contractor in person or over the phone can provide valuable clues as to how dedicated they are to obtaining your business
  • Ask to speak to former customers – Although not conclusive, the opinions of other customers can illuminate what it is like to work with a particular home contractor
  • Confirm licenses and certifications – Check with your state contractor licensing agency, and remember, any home contractor who does work on a pre-1978 home must be lead-safe certified by the EPA
  • Get a written quote/estimate on paper – A written proposal should always include price, scope of the work to be performed, materials used, and a completion date