RE Articles > How to Choose a Contractor for Home Repairs

ContractorWhen you purchase a house, a contingency of the contract may be an allotment for certain home repairs and updates, negotiated by the former homeowner and the new one. Depending on the services you require, you may need to hire a plumber, electrician, or some other contractor. To ensure you get high-quality work for a reasonable price, you'll want to do your homework and find an experienced and bonded contractor. Ideally, ask a friend, coworker, or a new neighbor for a referral. Ask what kind of project the contractor completed, and if the price and amount of time it took to complete the project was reasonable. Getting a referral from someone you know will make it more likely that you will get a truthful and candid recommendation.

If you don't have someone who can provide a referral, start by searching the phone book for contractors from larger, more established companies. Chances are that if they've been in business for more than a few years, their work is quality. But just to be on the safe side, after you've narrowed down a few choices, consult the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce to see if any complaints or issues have been filed against the companies you're considering.

When you choose a company to work with, it's reasonable to ask for a list of references or examples of past projects. You may also verify the business's insurance coverage and work permits. After all, they will be in your home -- so take the precautions you need to ensure you've made a well-informed decision. Finally, a deposit may be required to begin work, but you shouldn't be expected to pay the balance on services until the project is complete.

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David Hill



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