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10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

  1. Give considerable thought to the individual or business you will hire to perform your construction or related projects. Pay particular attention to contractors offering their services at a considerably lower price – while you may save a few dollars at the time, you may end up paying a lot more over the life of the service or product.


  1. Talk to more than one specialist, this will allow you to develop a better understanding of the process. Knowledge gives power to negotiate.


  1. If you know you need to renovate or extend your building, don’t wait until the problem gets worst to get estimates and select a contractor e.g.if you know you need a new roof then don’t wait until you have water coming in from your second floor ceiling.


  1. Do a bit of research. If you have a friend who is more knowledgeable than yourself, invite them to take a look.  This allows you to give the contractor more specific information or details about the problem.


  1. Past clients or projects are a great way to learn about contractors and their capability. So go ahead and ask a neighbor or a friend for recommendations, look for completed jobs in the neighborhood. Now-a-days it’s all out there on the internet, check business websites to see their profile of completed jobs.


  1. Yes I am part of a company that provides construction services but I will still go ahead and say it – negotiate fiercely and make it clear to the contractor that you are looking for the best quality job at the best possible price. Remember, you are in charge and it’s your project and money so demand a great end product/service at a great price. It’s not always true that you have to pay ridiculous prices for great work but it is expected that the best quality work will come at a bit higher cost.


  1. Obtain and review at least three written estimates to compare what a job should cost. Once this is done, you’ll have a sense of which contractor to use.  Meet with the contractor again, at this point discuss any other qualms you may have with his estimate.


  1. Of course get everything in writing.


  1. After selecting a contractor, stay close to them; check the work and ask questions. A good contractor would know to keep the customer updated with work progress by submitting reports at agreed intervals and will seek permission before making any deviations from the original plans.


  1. If at the end of the project the contractor has done a great job ask for some business cards and pass around to friends and family.