Hiring the right contractor will be one of the most important decisions you will make.

Hiring the wrong contractor could push back the date of completion or even possibly damage your home. Finding the right contractor can also be downright challenging from unclear reputations to online reviews, which often can be misleading. Here’s my short list of tips:

Do your research

• Check to see how long they have been in business. Checking their history can help you know if they specialize in or have work experience related to your project.

• Look for legal violations or complaints from the BBB or the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

• Ask for past work references, which I believe will help make your decision a bit less stressful.

Contact your potential contractors

• Are they knowledgeable in what they do?

• Are they genuinely interested in my project or am I just another job?


• Did they communicate like professionals?

• Are they listening to what’s important to me or selling features not needed?

• Did they answer all my questions and concerns clearly?

• Ask about licensing, permits, insurance and bonding if needed.

• Ask about references you can call.

• Ask for a cost estimate. They may provide a rough estimate over the phone, depending on the complexity of the work.

Necessary contract elements to keep an eye out for:

• Both contractor and client information

• Detailed scope of work


• Start and completion dates/ timeline

• Change order agreement

• Job cost and payment schedule

• Stop-work clause, which states that the contractor can stop work for non-payment

• Stop payment clause, client can refuse final payment if milestone is not reached or work is subpar

• Warranty info

• Two party signatures

Although there are many contractors that are used, this is some of the basic information that you should look for to help make your experience a lot more pleasant.


Having met the potential contractors, you will then get a better understanding of who you will be dealing with.

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