How to Hire a Local Contractor
Whether you are looking to hire a contractor to install new rollers on your garage door or build an addition to your garage, it's important to hire a licensed contractor that is also experienced in their field. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. In most every state it is the law that any contractor who advertises MUST be licensed, no matter the size of the job. So look and ask for a license number and check it online at your states registrar of contractors or equivalent site. Once on the site, enter the company license number. Note the name of the company (does it match the name of the company being advertised?). Also verify if they have worker’s compensation insurance. If they say they don’t, ask when you call them, who will be coming out. If it’s the name (of the individual/owner) on the license, no problem. If it is a technician, or any other name don't do business with them since said they didn’t have employees! You now know that whoever would come out to perform the work is not licensed or insured. They will say they are sub contractors but they are not. You can also look to see if they have any complaints and if their license was ever revoked or suspended and why. Stay away from any contractor which you has any unresolved matters with the state licensing agency.
2. Check the your local Better Business Bureau (BBB). Contrary to a mixed news reviews that debunked their credibility, they actually are a very credible source. They will have online reviews and records that you can search that include contractors who are not even members of the BBB. You can see how many and what type of complaints weed files and how long ago they were and what the resolution was. Make sure whoever you hire has a good rating. It takes a lot of accountability to maintain a good rating over the years.
3. Use the following web sites and look for reviews: Google and Yelp. Simply type in the company or contractor name and then add the word "reviews" to the search and you should get a list of most reviews on the web.
4. If you have several projects to do, Angie’s List is a great resource for contractors. A company can’t get on Angie’s List directly. Their clients have to refer them. This is like having a giant data base of reviews for contractors in various specialties in your area. There’s a small annual fee but worth it if you may need to do multiple searches.
Now, hopefully these tips will help you make an informed decision about any contractor or company you hire in any of the trades! Taking 15 minutes to check things out will give you a good sense of the company and could save you time and money!