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Hiring a Remodeling Contractor
Locating contractors - Page 2


by Leon A. Frechette

Because it's easier to make an intelligent decision when you've talked to more than one contractor, I recommend that you seek out three contractors to bid your project. Each contractor will draw on his unique experiences as he evaluates and bids the job and he may even present you with ideas and options you hadn’t considered.

The first and most obvious way to find a contractor is to open your phone book. Turn to "Contractors" in the Yellow Pages and specifically look for contractors who specialize in remodeling and home improvements or, if applicable, for contractors who specialize in specific remodeling areas, for example, bathrooms or kitchens.

Although ad size is not a factor, I recommend that you look carefully at display ads, making sure they list the contractor's license number (some states do not require a contractor to acquire a contractor's license), how long the contractor has been in business, if the contractor is bonded or insured, and whether the contractor offers free estimates. Also note if the ad is clean and concise as this may reflect the company’s concern for quality.

In your search for a contractor, ask neighbors and friends who recently had remodeling work done. Find out how they located their contractors and ask for their recommendations.

After you select three contractors for further consideration, check:

1. Your local newspaper to see if your potential contractors advertise in the community.

2. With your state's Department of Labor and Industries to verify that the contractors are licensed, if that is required by your state or community.

3. With your local Better Business Bureau for any information they might have on the contractors you're considering. Specifically, ask how long each company has been in business and check to see if there are any complaints against the contractors. If there are complaints, ask how many are on file, but remember that larger companies will have more complaints than smaller companies due to the larger volume of customers handled. It is important to find out how the contractors responded to those complaints.

Carefully consider each contractor's performance record. If there are a lot of complaints, I would think twice before "hiring on trouble" and would seek out another contractor to research. If there are only a few complaints and they appear to have been satisfactorily resolved, don't let that interfere with your decision. The old saying "you can't please everyone…" also holds true in the construction industry. When you meet with the contractor to discuss the specifics of your project, do not hesitate to question him about information you have learned from the Bureau; an honest contractor will explain and that will help you in your decision-making process.

Click to Purchase

I have developed a series of legal business forms to help consumers and contractors through the bidding and contractual process. The Contractors Helping Hands Packet includes Itemized Bid Sheets along with a Contract/Agreement Sheet and an Extra Work and/or Change Order Sheet. To order your set of forms, click on purchase button to the left!

Copyright © 2006 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved. The previous article, in whole or in part, appeared
on the market in 1988 in The Helping Hands Guide To Hiring A Remodeling Contractor.

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