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Old 11-06-2007, 05:47 AM   #1
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Finding a contractor


This may sound stupid but I dont know how to find a contractor. Some jobs are over my head, and others I would prefer not to do. (Tile work - roofing)

We are new in the area, middle Tn. do not know anyone to ask for recommendations, work stupid long hours so cant drive around looking for contractor signs on peoples front lawns. Pulling names out of the phone book or off of Craigs list seems kind of hit or miss to me. I have used a big orange box outlet once before with horrible results. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 11-06-2007, 05:38 PM   #2
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Finding a contractor


If you dont have friends that can refer you to a good contractor. Use the phone book. Stay away from craigs list. Interview a couple from the phone book and you should get a good or bad gut feeling. When you find one you seem to like, get references and look up their license online at your state license board website. Make sure their license is in good standing and that they have workers comp if they use employees. If they will be doing anything major that has to do with roofing, waterproofing, plumbing, or electrical, (basically anything more than cosmetic work) make sure they carry general liability insurance. Then, when they give you a price, it should include a pretty detailed scope of work stating what is and, (more importantly) what isnt included in the price. If the job will take more than a day or two, they should present you with a contract that states what is and is not included, a price, start and completion dates, a payment schedule, and their change order policy.
If they do all this, expect to pay more than a handyman will charge. Being a legitimate contractor comes with a lot of overhead. You are trusting them with your biggest investment and chances are, if they have come far enough to become licensed and insured, they take that seriously. They deserve to make a living, and a profit.

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Old 11-06-2007, 08:33 PM   #3
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Finding a contractor


Look around for a mom and pop type of lumber yard....small town style...not the box stores, and ask them for a referral. Believe it or not, good contractors are usually not looking for customers, unless the economy has tanked. I do not advertise and only work from referrals. I also buy from lumber yards, not Lowes or Home Depot, and lumber yards send customers my way.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:07 AM   #4
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True, Lumberyards know who the busy contractors are, and why they are busy. They know the solid, establisehd contractors, with good reputations and happy customers - that have been doing business for years. They know the contractors that have a solid financial standing. They know the type of person a particular contractor is through their own interactions & how professional they are in business.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:17 AM   #5
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Finding a contractor


Good question actually. I have used a couple online services and have had excellent results. Angie's list most recently for my chimney and gutters. It is a listing of contractors in your area once you enter your zip code. There are reviews and comments from customers as well as a link to the better business bureau so you can check for complaints against companies.
I have been 2 for 2 in finding excellent people here.
http://www.angieslist.com/AngiesList/

Also try: I found my flooring guy here. He was excellent.
http://www.servicemagic.com/
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:48 PM   #6
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Again, be wary of any service that a contractor may subscribe to for leads....good contractors are not looking for customers usually....most of us have a backlog of several months.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:17 PM   #7
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Finding a contractor


What Joasis said. Like him, we have never advertised. While so many contractors around us are crying the "work-is-slow" blues......we are booked, back-to back, for months.
In my area, the guys that are advertising, do so beacuse they are not that busy. As one very busy fellow contractor (who does high-end work) commented to me a few months ago: "There's a reason why some guys have to advertise"...
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:03 AM   #8
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Good points guys and i agree. Angies list is quite well known and it works.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:06 AM   #9
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I just moved to Cincinnati, OH. I was also having trouble finding a contractor to excavate my backyard. I found a couple online websites that allow you to post your project online. I decided to go with Contract Spot, b/c you can post the project for free. You can post project photos and talk with contractors directly through the site. I was contacted by several contractors w/in a few days. The site appears to be nationwide. Here is the link, it might help you:

http://www.contractspot.com

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