Ever wonder how to find a good contractor? Have you ever had a bad contractor story? How about a bad mechanic story? There are surveys out there that state that contractors and mechanics are the worst service providers in the market place. Let’s face it, we all have a bad story to tell about these professions. Lawyers may have been a close third :). Unfortunately, we all need a good contractor at some point. It may be a new roof, siding, a new kitchen, landscaping, new concrete, a pool or a variety of other home improvement necessities. So you need a new something or other, where do you start? It’s actually easier than you think but most folks just don’t know what to look for and the questions to ask. Start with these: 1. Are you a licensed contractor with the state or jurisdiction you are working in? A business license and a contractors license are two separate things. A person selling snow cones needs a business license whereas a contractor needs a business and a contractors license. 2. Do you have liability insurance and how much is it? Make them provide you with a copy of the insurance certification. 3. Do you use sub contractors or employees to do the work? 4. What guarantees do you carry on labor and material? Get proof. 5. Get references from actual customers if possible. 6. Check their online reviews (google, BBB, Angies List, etc). 7. What are the building code requirements? If they don’t know this one, run. 8. Are they pulling a permit? If they are not pulling a permit and one is required in your municipality, run. Typically, if a permit is needed and not being pulled, the contractor is cutting corners and not meeting local building codes which may save you money today but not in the long run. Imagine if an electrician doesn’t follow local code requirements? Ever see a house burn down, it’s not pretty. 9. How long will the job take? These are just a few of the questions you should ask. Don’t fall for the sales pitch if they cannot answer these questions and provide documents. That may be all your get out of the job is a sales pitch and of course, lost money.