If you’re in the market for a general contractor, chances are you’re planning on having some work done around your home or business. If that’s the case, consider that you’ll be working in, or living in, whatever work gets done. How can you take steps to make sure that you’re happy with the work that gets done? We’re glad you asked. Here are 5 contractor approved pro-tips to help you lock down the perfect contractor for your next project. Ask yourself…

1. Have I Shopped Around?

There’s a reason that the U.S. Government has made it a rule that they get 3 quotes before any work gets done. If you’re looking to have some work done, it is never prudent to go with the first and only quote that you get. Shopping around will give you a more realistic sense of the scope of the job; if you notice that there happens to be a quote that’s too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Why is this quote so low?

Some contractors will actually tell you to scrap the lowest quote you get. This may not always be the case, but chances are the lower cost comes with cut corners. When it comes to your home, you don’t want to risk something like this. Usually, its better to spend a little more to work with someone that you trust will do a good job.

3. Am I afraid to tell this contractor “no”?

In relationships, communication is key. Partnerships are no different. The single most important consideration when hiring a contractor is how well you two communicate. If you’re noticing a tendency of misunderstandings, misaligned visions or general unease, don’t be afraid to tell a contractor “no.” You’re looking for someone who you get along with. Believe me, this is going to reflect in the quality of work done.

4. Is this a reasonable plan?

Before you sign anything, consider the draw schedule and timeframe of the work to be done. A good contractor may ask you to put a deposit down, but you should never agree to pay the full amount before the work gets done. Even insurance companies will ask contractors to get certain percentages of work done before they dish out payments.

5. Is this contractor experienced and reputable?

A good contractor should have a trail of happy customers. In this day and age, a contractor should have their references on their website. If for some reason their references aren’t available, don’t be afraid to ask them for information on their previous clients. Make note of hesitation to do so, as that could signify something having gone wrong in the past. Don’t stop there, check out local review sites and the Better Business Bureau as well.

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