Hiring a Contractor, Part 2

If you’re planning small projects around the house, and you’re fairly handy, you may be able to do them yourself.

But for bigger projects, the work of a professional contractor might be put to use.

There’s certainly an element of trust involved with hiring a nephew or a friend’s neighbor, but it can also put you in a financial bind.

Last night on ABC 10 New Now, we mentioned the dangers of hiring an unlicensed contractor.

Tonight, we look at how local contractors are finding that more homeowners are looking for someone to help out on smaller projects.

But before you hire out the job, contractors and the U.P. Builders’ Association have some tips for you to make it a little easier to find the right company or person for the job.

Number 1 — get recommendations from friends and family, and check with the Builders’ Association for a list of members.

Number 2 — do phone interviews.

Make a quick call to each of your prospects, ask for references and check them.

Number 3 — meet face to face.

Based on the phone interviews, pick a few contractors to meet with for estimates and further discussion.

Number 4 — make plans and get bids.

To compare the bids, ask everyone to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins and other expenses.

Number 5 — set a payment schedule.

Be sure to work out the details so both parties know what to expect.

Number 6 — don’t let price be your guide.

A very low bid may correlate to a low-quality job.

All things being equal, the experts say it’s better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable with.

Number 7 — put it in writing.

Draw up a contract that details every step of the project.

For more information on hiring a contractor, and finding the right contractor for a job you may want done, you can visit the U.P. Builders’ Association here.

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