26th Jul2012


Five Tips for Hiring a Contractor

by Dinah Wulf

Bye Bye Patio!

When we first bought this house, the only thing the home inspector had any concerns with was our back patio.   Over the years, it started drifting off to the left… not safe!  Needless to say, it became a priority.

Although I write a DIY blog, remodeling the patio is not something I want to tackle myself. Some projects you just have to let the professionals do.  BUT I did learn some things along the way.  My husband and I met with four different companies and man were all four different.  Here are five tips for hiring a contractor, so to speak, that I want to pass on in case you need to hire a contractor for a large job.  I think they can be applied to any type of contractor.

  1. Before you meet with anyone, take time to research exactly what it is you want.  Peruse your local hardware superstore to touch feel and price different types of materials.  Take home samples to view in your own light.  Ask questions regarding warranties, life span, and durability.
  2. Have a design in mind.  Whether you are remodeling your patio, kitchen, or bathroom, plan out your design.  That way, when you get quotes, you have the same design for all companies and you are comparing apples to apples.  Even if you change your mind, you will have quotes consistent with the scope of work.
  3. Meet with at least three different companies. Aye yay yay!  This tip is vital.  I have no idea where the disconnect was with the first three contractors we met.  Their quotes where SO FAR off!  Hence we called a fourth and had a better idea of where to land.
  4. Don’t always go with the lowest quote.  After meeting with all four, we immediately threw out the lowest quote.  It was so much lower that it raised some red flags.  Workmanship became a question of concern.
  5. Go with your gut.  After you look up and verify licensing and bonding, check the Better Business Bureau, and look online for any complaints or ratings, go with the salesperson that is most reasonable and you feel most comfortable with.

Here are some pictures of our patio demolition.

 

Here is the finished product!

 

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Dinah has a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California State University Fullerton. She is a Curator for Style Me Pretty Living, a Blogger at Earth911 and GMC Trade Secrets, and a member of Martha’s Circle. Her website, DIY Inspired has been recognized by Mashable, Parenting.com, and Circle of Moms as a Most Creative Blog. Dinah was featured on Linqia’s Community Spotlight, as an influential community leader.

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