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Old 05-09-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


We have two projects that are beyond my novice ability (which is very limited)...
- Add a door to a bathroom so it is accessible from an adjacent bedroom.
- Add a window to the garage


Both projects are definitely feasible. We have measured everything and they are actually relatively simple projects. We got a couple of quotes from two contractors recommended by someone we trust but I think the projects appear too simple for them and they prefer larger projects. (They have both confirmed that these projects are feasible and pretty simple.)



We already bought the door and the window (both definitely the correct sizes and everything) and now need to find the right person to do the work.


The thing is, I am not totally certain how to find the right person/people to get it done. Really would love to find someone who is trust-worthy, can do things correctly, and cost effective.


I know there is Angie's List, but that requires a fee up-front that is not cheap. Any ideas to find the right people to do it should be appreciated!


Oh, I am in the Portland Metropolitan area (Oregon)...

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


References from neighbor, friends or relatives. Referrals from the local lumberyards. And then look at the job they did. Some people give good references to less then stellar work.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
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We got a couple of quotes from two contractors recommended by someone we trust but I think the projects appear too simple for them and they prefer larger projects.
If they weren’t willing to do the work I’d think they would have said so and not have given you a quote.

I’d rather have all of my jobs last a few weeks or more but it doesn’t always work out that way.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


I agree. If the quotes seem fair and you can be flexible with scheduling I would not assume they would not be willing to fit your small projects in. If not and you trust them from recommendations, ask them for some names of somebody who might do the work.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


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We have two projects that are beyond my novice ability (which is very limited)..
Do you have a phone?

"Portland Contractors"
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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Do you have a phone?

"Portland Contractors"
Well, I have no problem doing internet search... The issue lies in determining the quality/cost ratio... I have noticed that referrals are not always very accurate either. Sometimes a contractor can do work poorly and the homeowners don't realize it.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


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Well, I have no problem doing internet search... The issue lies in determining the quality/cost ratio... I have noticed that referrals are not always very accurate either. Sometimes a contractor can do work poorly and the homeowners don't realize it.
That is why you call more than one and see how you feel about them personally and hopefully you can get a feel if they are full of **** or sincere in general. Since you are not a building professional you cannot judge them by how they talk about construction but you can judge them by how they are in general.
I would call 3 contractors and ask each one for references. I would call at least 3 of those references for each one. Again, you will need to determine if the references are full of **** or if they are sincere as well. You should be able to determine if the reference has been coached or not by the contractor.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


The whole concept of supplying references is just insane. Any and every contractor will have 3 references. Nobody is going to give you a bad reference...and anybody expereinced in the trades knows that they have a bad reference...usually over a financial squabble Talk to friends, neighbours and coworkers. If they suggest cousin Tony, be careful of the consequences should something go wrong.

If you choose to get arbitrary quotes use your sense of judgement. If they walk across your berber carpet with muddy boots, find another one. Also, do some research on your project and ask questions...pertinent questions to confirm a sense of their knowledge.Don't make them feel like you want free information and then never call them. When you do find a suitable contractor..keep the card and you will become the reference which your friends may need.

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:33 PM   #9
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


I had a couple of thoughts to add after my last post which I am sure anyone reading these would understand...

I love dogs but I don't want to be bowled over by a Rotty when I come to quote. Nor do I like to be nipped at by your cute puppies. I understand that they are your "children" ..HOWEVER, I am there to work, not babysit and I especially hate having to walk through your back yard dodging "packages"

Cool,,I feel better
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Find the Right Contractor for Two Home Improvement Projects


I would level with the contractor and ask if the job is too small or if he thinks it will be hard to work it into the schedule. If not, consider him, but also get a few other estimates so you have a gauge. Try a handyman service and ask to speak to a few of their referalls. It does take some legwork, but once you find a few good contractors, the rest is relatively easy!
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:34 PM   #11
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Any contractor here on this board who would like to help us with the project? We are in the Portland metro area.

We have one more contractor coming by today... Hopefully we will decide soon.

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