The internet revolution has changed practically every industry. Home improvement wasn’t spared either. (In a good sense, that is).
Going through your local Yellow Pages book now seems to be quiet outdated. Instead, the internet now offers a multitude of opportunities of finding a contractor to take care of your repair and home improvement needs.
First of, there are many online telephone directories which offer generic information such as company name, address, and phone number. Such sites are usually very easy to use and let the user select a detailed field of contractor service that they need. Furthermore, the users may use the ZIP code option and have the site show only the contractors that are located within a certain mileage from their home. While online yellow pages are easy to use, they don’t provide any information about the company itself.
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There are also websites that actually “pre-screen” contractors, making sure that they are licensed and insured. The ease in this case is that you type in your project details and information and have the site do all the work. The minus is that these sites sell the information you give them to contractors and depending on how many such sales they make, you may end up getting phone calls from more contractors than you wish to talk to.
The last, but not least popular methods of finding contractors are contractor directories. Contractor directories enables contractors to post their own business description, capitalizing on their expertise and users leave feedback on their experience with the contractors, serving as a recommendation or a warning for further dealings with the contractor.
If you are looking for a contractor online, make sure to do some due diligence. Go to your local state or city website and check if the contractor indeed has a valid license number. Your local Better Business Bureau should be good places to check if any complains have been filed. Finally, talk to the contractor yourself. Don’t be shy about asking for references and do check them out. Discuss your project as detailed as possible. Make sure that you’re both agree on a date when the project will be completed and put it in a contract. The reason is that you don’t want the contractor to stop working on your project if he gets a more profitable gig. As for the payment, don’t pay upfront. Break it up into a few payments, one being a deposit and others should be paid upon completion of certain parts of the project.
All of the above methods are good in some sense. However, it is the consumers’ responsibility to make sure that he/she isn’t being serviced by someone who will defraud them or damage their property. After all it’s always possible to pay to be included into websites and have multiple accounts to leave yourself a good feedback.
Always remember, it’s your money and your house. If you’re paying someone to work for you, you have to make sure that you’re getting your money worth.