Most homeowners and business proprietors are bound to find themselves in need of reliable contractors at some time or another. However, as anyone who regularly works with them can attest, contractors are far from a monolith, and not every contractor you hire is going to be equally obliging. Furthermore, getting stuck with the wrong contractor can place a strain on both your patience and personal finances. So, if you’re currently in the market for dependable contractors, take care to heed the following pointers.

Confirm That They’re Licensed 

Under no circumstances should you do business with an unlicensed contractor. Since they tend to charge lower fees than their licensed contemporaries, it’s easy to see why so many people opt to take a chance on them. However, while this may seem like an effective way to conserve resources, hiring an unlicensed contractor may ultimately cost you a lot more money than you ever stood to save.

To start with, unlicensed contractors have virtually no incentive to provide accurate estimates, stay within budget or stick with jobs until they’re completed. Whereas engaging in such behavior stands to place a licensed contractor’s licensing in jeopardy, unlicensed contractors have no need to worry about such outcomes. After all, they can’t lose something they never possessed in the first place. Additionally, since an unlicensed contractor is unlikely to offer any guarantees on their work, you may wind up hiring a licensed contractor to fix their shoddy workmanship. 

Ultimately, you have very little to gain – but very much to lose – by giving your business to unlicensed contractors. So, regardless of how desperate you are to save money, you’d be wise to do business exclusively with licensed contractors.    

Confirm That They’re Insured 

Just as you should avoid doing business with unlicensed contractors, so too should you abstain from hiring contractors who are uninsured – although the two are often one and the same. If an uninsured contractor becomes injured while in your employ, you’re liable to be responsible for any resultant medical costs. Given the risks associated with certain types of construction, it’s in every contractor’s best interest to have insurance – and in every customer’s best interest to work exclusively with insured contractors. 

So, before proceeding to hire a contractor, confirm that they’re fully insured. Should they attempt to evade the question or refuse to provide proof of insurance, you’d do well to take your business elsewhere.     

Obtain Accurate Estimates 

It’s important to have a solid idea of how much you can expect to spend before proceeding to dive into large-scale repairs or renovations. With this in mind, make sure to seek out contractors who provide accurate estimates and stand by them. Furthermore, confirm that any contractors you’re thinking about hiring include the cost of pulling permits in their bids, as this will help prevent you from being blindsided by unexpected charges after the fact. It helps if you live in a municipality that utilizes convenient contractor license management software.  

Seek Out Reviews from Previous Clients 

Seeking out reviews from previous clients is among the best ways to determine how reliable a contractor truly is. While client testimonials featured on contractors’ websites can certainly be helpful, these only highlight the opinions of satisfied customers. In the age of digital feedback, there’s no shortage of contractor review sites, so if you’re looking for accurate descriptions of someone’s business practices, level of expertise and approach to customer service, make sure to read some reviews from past clients. 

Just remember that virtually every contractor is going to have a negative review or two. However, should you discover that someone with whom you’re thinking about working has generated a plethora of unfavorable reviews, it may be in your best interest to start considering other contractors.  

Whenever you do business with a contractor, you’re taking a chance. The larger the project, the larger the risk, so when shopping around for dependable contractors, it pays to do your homework. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, it’s become easier than ever to distinguish unreliable contractors from reliable ones. So, if your home or place of business is in need of large-scale repairs and/or renovations, there’s no time like the present to fire up your preferred search engine and start looking for contractors you can depend on. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here