Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How To Pick A Contractor

The first step in picking a contractor is to figure our what type of contractor you need. You can hire one general contractor to do your remodeling, renovation or new home construction project, or you can hire several sub-contractors who specialize in the different parts of the project.

Regardless of who you choose you should follow these rules.

First make sure they are licensed and insured and ask them to provide documentation you can verify. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing you with copies of these documents.

Next ask for several client references and do not be afraid to call and ask questions like did the contractor complete the construction project on time and within the budget, did it meet your expectations, how neat were they in your home, did the workers show up when expected, etc. If possible ask if you can see the finished home remodeling or renovation work the contractor did.

Call the better business bureau and see if there are any complaints filed against the contractor. Visit for more information

Request a written estimate. Any contractor who does not provide you with a written estimate should be crossed off your list. Get at least three estimates and then compare prices with what is included. Remember the lowest bidder is not always the best. Always ask what type of material they use and where they are getting it from. Compare apples to apples and make sure you are getting quality materials.

Sign a written contract. The contract should clearly state all the steps the contractor will take from beginning to end of your job, what supplies and material types are included, the payment schedule and the time line for the project.

Ask if they a member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry). Nari is a not-for-profit trade association with more than 50 years of industry experience and is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the construction industry and serving as an ally to the homeowner.

Visit to learn more about NARI

Visit for Information on the NYC / Long Island Chapter of NARI

Also check online to read long island contractors reviews from customers that have used them. Sites such as Find A Pro and Angies List are excellent resources.

So whether you want to do a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, dormer or a build a new home, by doing research and comparing contractors and materials you should be able to find a reputable contractor.