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How to Hire a Contractor

If you want to have a positive remodeling experience, do some basic research to ensure you hire a trustworthy, competent contractor.


  • Step 1: Get recommendations Visit home improvement stores and lumber yards and ask for recommendations. Family, friends, and neighbors are also good resources.
  • Step 2: Conduct phone interviews and take notes Derive a list of questions and topics. Conduct phone interviews with several contractors. Create a file with notes and information.
  • TIP: Be specific about the work you want accomplished, including prep work and clean up.
  • Step 3: Meet with your favorite choices Narrow your list to a few favorites and meet with them face to face.
  • Step 4: Ask for referrals Ask for referrals from current and past projects. Visit the contractor’s current job site to view their work method.
  • Step 5: Validate the facts Validate the contractors’ referrals, contractor license, and insurance coverage. Check with your state's consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against them.
  • Step 6: Confirm payment terms Agree with the contractor’s payment schedule – the percentages due up front, in process, and after the job is complete.
  • Step 7: Get a quote in writing Get all estimates, timing, material, and labor quotes in writing with the contractors’ signature.
  • FACT: Did you know? The most common home-improvement project is a bathroom remodel.

You Will Need

  • Recommendations
  • Notes
  • Referrals
  • An interview

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