Finding Good Contractors
Choosing your remodeler is the most important decision in a remodeling project. Take your time and be thorough in your search. Here are just a few places to start looking for the best contractor for your home improvement project:
Nearly half of all projects signed by a remodeling contractor are the result of client referrals. An additional 22 percent of jobs are the result of word-of-mouth. These are your best sources for leads:
- Business colleagues
- Real estate agents
- Local material supplier (lumber yards, specialty product providers, etc)
Other sources include:
- Job site signs: Pay particular attention to homes with signs from their contracting company on their lawn. Is the site clean? Are tools and materials being handled in a responsible manner? Are there dust covers over the owner's belongings to protect them?
- Local Media Attention: Look for articles about local remodelers. Also check out local home improvement columns in the newspaper and radio talk shows in your area. They can be a great source for finding a qualified, reputable and personable contractor.
- Direct Mail: Some contractor will send direct mail to homeowners within a few blocks of a current job. Call and ask the homeowner if you could tour the project with the contractor.
- Seminars: Attend local seminars on home improvement topics. Some firms host free seminars on how to choose a remodeler and other interesting remodeling topics. Check your local newspaper community news section for information.
- Home Shows: This is a somewhat tricky place to interview contractors since they will be surrounded by other consumers. However, this is a great place to gather information about companies and to make an initial contact with the contractors. Afterwards, it's certainly possible to schedule a more personal meeting with the contractor either at their showroom or right in your own home.