Tuesday, February 8, 2011

5 key factors in choosing a contractor

After weeks of waiting for bids, we've chosen our contractor.

All props go to John who met with them, showed them our renovation plans, and let them all know our choice.

Since we received bids from five different contractors, we had to have some sort of criteria to make our choice. This is our criteria, in no particular order.

5 key factors to consider:

1. Price

Obviously, price was important to us. Like everyone, we're on a budget. That being said, we also know that you get what you pay for. So we weren't going to just go with the lowest bid.

2. Referrals & recommendations

We wanted to know that people were happy with their work. Duh.

3. Priority

We want to be a priority. Our renovation plans are not major; therefore, we're not a huge *money maker*. We don't think that should make us a low priority though. We want a contractor who answers our calls and gets back to us promptly.

4. Personality!

We want someone with a nice personality and someone who is easy to get a long with. If we're going to be working side-by-side with him (and by *we* I mean *John*), he has to be nice.

5. Future projects

Our renovation plans are not the end of our projects -- they are just the beginning. Too many projects to list here, but we are going to need help finishing a few of them. It would be nice to have a contractor who will help out on a few {future} odd jobs here and there.

What would you add to my list?


  1. Hey kirwin, Thanks for the great tips on finding a contractor. I hope one day we'll get to do a big renovation (for now we're mainly sticking with cosmetic). As far as learning blog design, I took a class through http://www.aprilshowersblogdesign.com/. There are some great tutorials out there too check out http://beautifulblogdesigns.com/. I'm working towards starting a blogdesign business, trying to work out the kinks in mine. Good luck!

  2. I pretty much agree with your list. One thing I would add is to make sure your bids are comparable. Sometimes low bidders omit things you think they're including, then try to charge more for them later on. In that case, what seems at first to be the higher bid might actually be a better deal. It's really important to get the details of what the contractor will do in writing along with the price. I'm sure you know this, but people who aren't familiar with the process might not!

  3. @ elizabeth~ thanks SO much for the links. I'll be sure to check them out. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll be your first customer! : )

    @ Kim~ Yeah, it was interesting to see the $$$ range when it came to the bids.

  4. I definitely agree with Kim. You gotta make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Something else (we learned the hard way) is to do research and make sure the company is in good standing with the BBB and licensing organizations. Most can be researched online and you can find out if they have any complaints filed against them. Another tool I like to use is to tell them who else we are considering and find out what they say. Usually a good contractor will have a fair review of his peers and red flag only the truly terrible. A less upstanding company tends to bad mouth more.


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