You’ve been planning all winter for the home improvements you want to make this spring, and you’re itching to get outside and take advantage of warmer temperatures. You’ve already figured out what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and how to pay for the renovations, and you can’t wait to get started. Unless you have a contractor who you’ve worked with before, you’re going to want to use some caution and not pick the first one listed in the phone book. Too many stories abound telling of price gouging, false low quotes, contractors who don’t finish the jobs they start, and others who spend weeks prolonging simple jobs. There are several rules of thumb you need to pay attention to when choosing a new contractor.

Never hire an itinerant contractor who comes knocking at your door soliciting business or one who demands cash up front. No legitimate professional works that way. Instead, you need to look for someone who has been in business in your neighborhood long enough to have established a reputation. If you have to hire someone you know nothing about, do some checking on him before signing on the dotted line. Look for a contractor who specializes in the type of work you want done. For instance, if you want to have a gazebo built, don’t hire a plumber. Naturally, this only makes sense.

A contractor’s credentials can be checked online to make sure that he is operating with enough of a cash cushion to be able to buy the materials he will need to do your project. These sites will also provide you with other information, such as business address, license, bonding and insurance information, and the length of time the business has been in operation. A credit review will tell you if he has had any financial problems in past business dealings.

As in any profession, there are unscrupulous people working in home contracting jobs. The Federal Trade Commission warns homeowners to avoid any dealings that don’t seem quite right to you. For instance, don’t trust a door-to-door salesman who claims he will give you a discount if you allow him to use materials he had left over from a previous job. Another red flag would be if he fails to give you an address and telephone number. And don’t allow any contractor to put you to work. If he says it will be your responsibility to get the necessary permits or expects you to recommend him to your friends, show him the door immediately.


How to make sure you choose a reasonably priced, reliable home improvement contractor.

A home improvement project is a major investment. Much time, effort and money will go into creating home improvements to make your home more enjoyable, livable and more valuable. The success level of your project will depend primarily on the person at the head of the project, namely, your home improvement contractor.

The home improvement contractor you hire should be able to schedule, coordinate, plan and activate those plans to provide you with the results you want in a timely and efficient manner. The abilities of the home improvement contractor you choose will determine the overall success of your home improvement project.

Home improvement centers, online sites and friends and neighbors are all good places to begin your search for a good home improvement contractor. It’s a good idea to try to get at least three home improvement contractors to give you a quote on your project.

Home Improvement Contractor

As you choose your home improvement contractor make sure you give each contractor the same set of plans or specifications to bid by. You want to make sure they all have the information and requirements. When you choose your home improvement contractor make sure you are comparing each contractor against the same checklist.

The checklist should include things like checking references, checking with the Better Business Bureau, comparing materials quality, comparing the timeline for completion, the professionalism of the quote and of course the price. The person with the lowest price may not always offer the best bargain.

To ensure that you’re getting the most reliable and highest quality home improvement contractor the materials they will be using should be investigated thoroughly. Sometimes a contractor with a lower bid may be using less than optimal materials. Make sure you check everything on your list before you make a final decision.

Professional home improvement contractors will have everything written in a professional contract before they begin the work. Read the contract carefully and get answers to any questions you have before you sign the agreement. Taking the time to choose your home improvement contractor carefully will give you the reward of a professionally completed project you can enjoy now and in the future.


New York was dubbed the “City that Never Sleeps” for a good reason and that is the 24-hour hustle and bustle not only of traffic but people as well. Home improvement is an area which is increasingly gaining importance in NYC living. A very busy lifestyle, calls for a living space that would be worth coming home to no matter the size or type of residence. There may also be damages and functionality issues lurking somewhere and are only brought to the attention of the busy occupant when the damage is beyond repair. There is no doubt that in times when the need for maintenance, repair, renovation, and remodeling arises; the most ideal option for any New York City person is to get help from a home improvement contractor, but how do you hire the right one?

Good word of mouth is the best form of advertisement for every business operator and service provider, as well as the most damaging. Try to ask family members, friends, and neighbors for any recommendation. These people would be the best source for honest testimonials on the work of an NYC home improvement contractor. Be wary of names that come up when asking at some building materials store or at a local pool supply as these leads could just be among those that benefit from a finder’s fee scheme.

If you have nobody trustworthy to consult to regarding this search, check with the BBB or Better Business Bureau in New York first before spending minutes and hours going through the local Yellow Pages. While at it, see the list of home improvement contractors that have bad records or unresolved complaints to their names and make sure to steer clear from them. The Internet can also be a good source of information that could lead you to the right NYC home improvement contractor. You can browse through rip-off websites or simply Google the name of the professional that you are interested in, and you are sure to find either good or bad things about him. From here, you could already draw up possible candidates who have clean records.

After going through the steps, now is high time to screen them to determine the right home improvement contractor to hire. Phone each of your picks and tell them exactly the same details and get bids. When conducting the interview, never hesitate to ask many questions especially important ones. Do not base your choice on the price given by the contractor as the cheapest is not always the most economical and the most expensive does not always end up with the highest of quality. When comparing bids, consider what the contractor plans to do and the materials that he will be using. Make sure to get references to check out and verify his license.

There are numerous benefits in acquiring the services of a New York City home improvement contractor, so much more if you did your homework and hired a competent one. The time extended on going through the selection and the dollars spent would prove to be well worth it not only after the project has been finished successfully but in the long run. Hiring the right home improvement contractor for the job helps you avoid the risks of additional costs for maintenance and back jobs.