We get an overwhelming amount of requests for recommendations for trades people, and while I can't suggest an individual contractor in your area, I always start by doing my research. I've provided a checklist below that I use to find good trades:
- Ask family and friends for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best and most honest advertising.
- Phone the trades people on your list, interview each of them and include the following questions:
- Are they licensed?
- Do they have insurance?
- How long have they been in business for and what is there area of expertise?
- How much money do they require as a down payment for the work?
- How much time do they expect the project to take?
- Can they provide you with a number of references and photos of recent projects?
- Do they guarantee their work?
- Think about the interaction you had with the company or individual during your interview - were they courteous, knowledgeable and forthcoming with information and references? A first impression is a pretty good indicator of your future interactions.
- Next, follow up on the references provided. Ask about their experiences and if the work met the expectations of the contract.
- Get bids from a number of different companies and when you're ready to proceed, be sure to get all of the details in a written contract and review it carefully. Ask questions if you have them.
- Finally, never pay the full amount until the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work.
The more information you have the better. Good luck with your projects!