HOW TO FIND CONTRACTORS



"Find Contractors" tips below should help you locate the kind of tradespersons you're looking for.

An on-line search for contractors brings back an enormous list of tradespeople to choose from.

What you need is a little help in trimming down your list to between three and five contractors.

Creating a short list of trades people will make your search that much faster and of course easier. I've been a painting contractor for a number of years and in that time have learned a few tricks for choosing trades people to work on my own home.

With a few of the suggestions that follow and a little effort on your part you should be able to locate the contractor that you're looking for.


FIND CONTRACTORS HELP



For those who are doing a small job i.e., replacing a toilet or light fixture, following the first couple of tips below should help you find contractors. If, on the other hand, you're remodeling your home or replacing all the flooring it would be advisable to follow as many of the suggestions that I list that you possibly can.

Spending a few hundred dollars and ending up with a job you're not satisfied with is a lot different than paying thousands for work that's deemed to be unsafe and a home that's uninhabitable. The more money you're going to end up spending the more diligent you need to be in finding the right people for the job at hand.

  1. If tradespersons have done work on your home in the past and you were satisfied with the quality of their work give them a call. Most contractors work together on new homes and commercial projects. Due to reputation, builders tend to hire only like minded tradesmen.

    So, what I'm trying to say is, if your Painting Contractor is fussy then they more than likely know Carpenters, Plumbers and Electricians that feel the same as they do about workmanship. So calling your roofer could help you find contractors for your other projects.


  2. Friends, family and neighbors are also a good places to get contractor references. If aunt Betty had a tile setter revamp her bathroom and you need a new back-splash you'll not only be able to ask her about her experience you'll also get to have a look at the quality of work done.


  3. Whether you have a few names on your find contractors list or not Google Maps is it definitely the best place to build one. Maps will help you check on the tradesperson you already have on your list as well as those you don't.

    By placing your specific request in the Google maps search box you will find contractors who are closest to you. Information about them can be found by clicking the links to the left and red balloons situated directly on the map itself. As an example key in, the kind of contractor + the word "near" + your city + your state/province + Country + your address.

    Or a better way to say it is, Painting Contractors near Mission Gorge Road San Diego, Ca, United States. After clicking the search box you will have a list (on the right) of painters whose business are close to you and red balloons on the map for a quick reference to there info.

  4. When using Google Maps to find contractors click on each tradespersons link to the left then go to their web site. You want to find email address. Send each contractor (at least five or six) an email asking if they would supply you with references, proof of bonding (if needed), insurance including injury (workers comp) and liability, along with the legally required licenses ( for those mandated by law to have a license i.e., Plumber, Electrician etc.) if you were to hire them.


  5. At this stage if the job is on the small size you can go ahead and hire the tradesmen who look like the best choice from the responses you've received. For larger jobs, you want to be very thorough when trying to find contractors so select at least three of the email respondents and request a quote (not an estimate) by telephone. Booking an appointment over the phone should give you some idea as to the kind of company your dealing with.


  6. Once you have your three quotes compare them and make sure they all bid on the exact same job and materials. If they didn't and you liked a certain tradesman then show him or her the other persons bid and give them a chance to match the quote.

    If you do have a contractor re-bid get everything in writing (including changes) and be sure you both sign on the dotted line prior to going ahead with the job.

    Another thing to keep in mind is, don't decide not to hire someone on price alone. If your contractor doesn't negotiate and you still want him or her then your process to find contractors.


  7. After deciding on a contractor phone them. Let the tradesmen know that you are considering them for the job but would like him to email, fax, or mail you the documentation you asked for when you first emailed them.


  8. With your requested paperwork you can now check on your contractor. Examples would be with the Better Business Bureau, State/Provincial licensing offices, and consumer and corporate affairs. You will also want to check for workers compensation and liability insurance. Local State or Provincial governments have different systems set up so the first place to start is Googling {Your city + Consumer affairs + hire a contractor}.

    Also, Googling your cities web site will almost always give you information pertaining to hiring a tradesmen in your particular State or Province. If you can't find the information your looking for email the city and they should send you in the right direction.


  9. If you don't live in a city Google the closest (and largest) one to you. The rules or laws governing contractors will be the same for the entire State or Province. References should be checked if at all possible. Ask about the contractors communication, customer satisfaction, timely work schedule, work area cleanliness and did the quoted stay on budget.

  10. Last but not least find contractors by Googling the name of your trades-person and his or her company. Lots of website owners and Bloggers will write about a contractor they may have liked or have had problems with.


With everything checked out, hire your trades-person and set up a schedule for when the work will begin and a finish date (try and be as flexible as possible). If you can get it in writing do so, don't feel bad if he won't set out a time line on a signed contract though.


FIND CONTRACTORS SUMMARY



Some contractors won't have a web site. If they have good referrals and it's a small job I wouldn't worry to much about it. Be sure your contractor has all the proper paper work like insurance and licenses.

Permits are also a must. Make them prove they have them. Check with your local government to see what permits are necessary for your particular job. You want to also meet the person who will actually be doing the job and ask how long they have been in business.

Work out stages for payment and hold back the last payment until you're happy with the work. Some Companies have people just doing quotes. Be sure to ask.

Don't pay cash and check the progress of the work so that you can stop work at an early stage if needed. Report contractors to the proper agency if you feel that fraud may be an issue, otherwise tradespersons can put a lien on your property if you don't pay them.

Everything needs to be in writing, make sure you thoroughly read what you're signing and have the contractor, along with yourself, sign for every extra of work or materials. Extras will happen so get a quote as opposed to an estimate. Quotes tend to lock in a price while an estimate can change halfway through the job.

Contractor financing can be expensive. Be sure to shop around and don't forget to ask for a warranty.

Different locations have different laws regarding the amount a contractor can charge as a down payment and the length of time that you have to cancel your contract. Before you do find contractors, remember that laws and regulations change all the time. Be sure to check with your local government agencies regarding the guidelines both you and your hired trades person needs to abide by.


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If you don't need help to find contractors then check out the painting and decorating information by using the home link above.

On the home page you will find navigation buttons such as ask a question along with interior or exterior projects and ideas.

Using the navigation bar should help find what you need or project your looking for.