In order to find a wonderful contractor, begin starting by asking your friends and family, or other members of your neighborhood if they know of a good one. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements. Once you’ve created a promising list, it is recommended that you make a phone call to each of your contractor prospects and ask them some questions. You want to find out certain things such as what size projects they take on (and how that relates to the scope of yours).
You’ll also want to know whether or not they are willing and able to provide references to you, whether or not they can and will give you a list of previous clients they have worked with, how many other projects they expect to have going on simultaneously to yours, how many subcontractors will be on your project, and how long those subcontractors have worked for him.
After interviewing a couple contractors on the phone, choose a few of them to meet in person. Have a list of questions ready. A good contractor will be able to answer your questions coherently, and without hesitating. This interview process is very important. Remember, this person is going to be working on your home for months, and you must be sure that you will work well with him, and that you feel like you can trust him to show up, and to work on an ethical basis.
If they permit, ask former clients if they liked the contractor and his work. See if they’ll let you come over and view his work. Your idea of a good job might differ from their idea of a good job. Work that one client thought was sloppy and all wrong, you might find acceptable.
You may also think that that particular client was being nit-picky. Certain people have different sets of expectations. This is why seeing previous work in person, or through good photos, is so important.
After, you’ll want to compare quotes with the list of contractors. Obviously, these quotes should include materials, the labor, profit, and other expenses pertaining to the project. Recognize that materials usually run for about half the quote. If they run over that, you’re probably being over-charged. At the very least, he is certainly over-estimating the material cost. For further reading, be sure to check out how to Get Recommendations: Top 8 Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor, as well as 18 Tips for Finding a Reliable Home Contractor.