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Choosing A Contractor

A good contractor earns every dime you pay them, a bad contractor will take every dime you have.

There are several reasons good contractors make good incomes. They work hard over many years to acquire a wide set of useful skills. Good contractors almost always started as workmen of one kind or another - carpenter, plumber, electrician, you name it.

They know first hand what it takes to become skilled in those trades. They know by sight what constitutes work well done and when a job was completed poorly. Beyond that, they learn to be good businessmen as well.

Many may not have accounting and finance skills, but they know how to hire well. They know how to bid a job fairly and how to manage sub-contractors and workmen fairly and firmly.

That's the kind you're looking for. They're out there. If you could get recommendations from friends and family about a reliable, competent contractor you wouldn't be reading this. So what to do beyond that? To find one, start with common sense guidelines.

Ask for references. Hiring a contractor is an expensive proposition and this is no time to be shy. Automatic, unfounded suspicion will poison any business relationship at the outset. But good contractors aren't sensitive about providing names and phone numbers for satisfied former clients. They know that referrals are the lifeblood of their business.

Once you have them, check them. Prepare a list of qu