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Courses in this Department

How to Buy Appliances

How to Save on Energy Bills

Remodeling Value

Woods and Islands in the Kitchen

All About Feng Shui

Ceiling Fan Facts and Fallacies

How to Select Carpet

Buy the Fireplace of the Future

How to Hire a Contractor

Get Wired with Smart Technology

Divide and Conquer

Secret Storage Spots

Redecorate Your Home on the Computer

You Can Decorate with the Stars

Are Your Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?


Finding the Right Contractor

Finding the right one is EVERYTHING!

Before you let some stranger into your home with saws and sledge hammers, be sure you know who they really are. Choosing someone because they have the biggest advertisement in the yellow pages or because you overhead someone talking about them in a restaurant or saw their van on the street is not enough. You need to be on your toes to find just the right one for you, your family and your project.

Are all contractors the same?

Let's take a look...

Contractors Are Not All Alike

They are their own breed, but they aren�t all the same.

The best way to find the one that is right for you is to ask around. Talk to people. Find out who has had work done in your area and ask to see it. If you like what you see, ask tough questions.

Talk to the local suppliers and lumber yards too. They often know who is good and who isn�t. And they also know who pays their bills and who doesn�t. This is important if you don�t want to be caught holding the bill...down the road.

You Aren�t Alone!

There are plenty of places to get help finding a qualified, professional contractor. We�ll show you all the tricks!

Places to Look Beyond the obvious
Once You Ask Around...

You need to dig a little deeper.

Although most professional remodeling firms claim that nearly all of their business comes from referrals only, you can�t rely on finding them through your friends. This is especially true if you just bought in the neighborhood and don�t know who to ask. Luckily, there are other sources.

1. Contact a national referral network

2. Try your local Chamber of Commerce.

3. The local building or remodeling associations are another great place to look.

Where NOT to Look

If they come looking for you, watch out!

Just like the largest, flashiest yellow pages ad doesn�t mean the company is reputable...neither do flyers stuck in your door. In fact, beware of any contractor who solicits you directly through door-to-door tactics. This is one of the oldest scams in the business. The same holds true for telemarketing ploys.

Sure, some companies who use the �please excuse our noise� letters about work in the neighborhood are legitimate and quite professional. You want to avoid anyone who tries to influence you with peer (neighbor) pressure. �Your neighbor is using me and I AM in the neighborhood.�

Run at the Mention of Deals

A lowball bid is a sign to run.

If a company tries to strong arm you into buying services with low-ball bids or special deals that are only good if you sign today (or any short time frame) are more likely con artists or unqualified contractors than a good choice.

A low-ball bid CAN be the sign of a contractor who is in financial difficulty and is desperate for some cash flow.

Be Tough

Once you find your potential contractor, you have to keep searching....for answers, that is.

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