Finding a Good Contractor

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 9, 2012)

Being able to find a good, ethical contractor is not a difficult task. All it takes is a little homework, some advance preparation and some simple common sense, and you are going to have a great contractor and a wonderful addition to your home in short order. Here are a few simple suggestions on what to look for while you are going around and interviewing your potential contractors.

  • Preplan. Prior to even beginning the task of locating a contractor, you are going to need to know what you want. This means that you should have a plan of exactly what you are looking for. Make the plan as detailed as you possibly can by including drawings, blue prints, samples of material prices, time frame, primary budget and backup budget to name a few necessities. This is going to help you and your contractor know exactly what you are looking for in the job.
  • Reviews. Now that you are ready to begin looking for your new contractor, start gathering information on different contractors in the area. Do this by talking with friends, neighbors or family who have recently gone through a remodel or repair project. Some other locations for good intelligence would be with your local building inspector's office, building supply store and better business office. In fact, you should ask all of the above, and the best contractors to bring to your next step would be the ones that were named by multiple sources. These would have the best reputation for doing good work.
  • Interview. From the list of contractors you reviewed, select the three that look the best. Set up a meeting with these three and submit to them the plans that you drew up earlier. Ask them to submit a bid on the project. This bid should include both cost estimates, but a time estimate and schedule as well. While you are talking to them about the project use the time to get to know them. This is an important part of selecting a contractor, since you are going to be working fairly close with them for the next several weeks, you really should make sure that you can work with them.
  • Contracts. Once you have determined which of the contractors that you are going to be working with, you need to draw up a contract. The contract's purpose is to protect you and the contractor both from any misunderstanding. With that goal in mind, the contract should be a written agreement stating the basics of how, what and when the different parts of the project are gong to be completed, what happens if there is any lateness, list and cost of materials and so on. If it is not written down, then there could be some nasty surprises later on, and you don't want to have that happen.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Easy Pastry Baking

Who doesn't love pastries? After all they are absolutely delicious, they just have one problem though. That problem is that ...

Discover More

Butcher Block Cleaning

Whether it is an entire countertop, table, or simply a cutting board, butcher blocks can be an attractive and useful addition ...

Discover More

Does My Car Use Shocks or Struts?

Chances are you can go into just about any mechanics garage across the country, and you will hear the question "Does my car ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Getting Help with Moving

When the move is over, make sure that you thank each person individually as they leave. Plan to take them all out that ...

Discover More

Successful Garage Sales

If you've just a few items to sell at a garage sale, you could ask family, friends, or neighbors if they'd like to ...

Discover More

How Much Is My House Worth?

If you have been living in your house for a while, or you are just simply curious, then you might be wondering "How much is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)