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Hiring a Contractor

Choose a reliable contractor

All homeowners know that their home represents one of the single largest investments they will ever make. And investing money, sometimes a lot of money, in home improvement can be one of the smartest things a homeowner can do to enhance that investment. So with so much at stake, how do you know how to find a reliable and trustworthy contractor to perform all of this crucial work, and to do so in a timeframe that won't have you pulling your hair out?


Compare Home Equity Loan offers from up to 4 competing lenders. You get a better loan to improve your home - when lenders compete.

MoneyNest.com is a free service that matches borrowers with lenders. Refinance your mortgage, get a second mortgage, consolidate debts, get a home equity line of credit, or a home improvement loan.


Do your homework

Just like a lot of components of home ownership, when choosing a good contractor, it pays to do your homework. That means doing it up front, not once the contractor has started the job. Start by asking around. Find out who your neighbors used in any contracting work that they had done. Ask work colleagues if they have a contractor who they would recommend. Don't just rely on the recommendations of satisfied clients that your prospective contractor give you. These will obviously be good because the contractor handpicked them themselves.

Research

Take a drive around your neighborhood on a Saturday and stop in at the homes of people who are having work done. Or write down their address and contact them when the contractor isn't there. You'll get plenty of information this way.
  • Is the contractor showing up for work on time like s/he promised?
  • Are they keeping costs to a level that is agreeable to the homeowner?
  • Do workers on-site clean up for themselves every day?
  • Is the contractor surprising the homeowner with unexpected costs along the way?
  • Would the homeowner recommend this contractor for similar work on your house, or do they have reservations?
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