What to look for when hiring a local contractor to do work on your home?

A contractor can make home repairs, improvements and renovations much easier. These professionals have extensive knowledge and training in many areas. It can be difficult to choose between all the contractors available in the area. There are several things to look for when hiring a local contractor to do work on a home.

Licensing and Insurance

The very first thing to look for is a valid license. Nearly all contractors must have a valid license in order to offer professional services. An unlicensed contractor can cause many issues with liability or fines if the work causes problems. It is also important to look for a contractor carrying insurance. An insured contractor will have coverage if there are accidents or injuries during the job. Insist on seeing proof of licensing and insurance. Check that the license number is actually valid.

Experience with the Project

Look for contractors who have past experience with the specific home improvement project that is planned. Homeowners should really find a contractor who has done the exact type of work required multiple times over the last few years. These contractors will do good work and can easily avoid common mistakes that might delay inexperienced contractors. Describe the project exactly to see whether the contractor has the experience needed.


Every good contractor will be able to provide references. Get two to three names and numbers of recent clients. Call the numbers and talk to those people. Ask about the general experience working with the contractor. Check whether the quality of the work held up over time. Talk about customer service and billing. References can be invaluable when trying to decide between contractors.


Evaluate the professionalism of the contractor during interactions in person and over the phone. A professional contractor should treat everyone with respect. The contractor should be clear and upfront about costs, expectations and other issues related to the project. The contractor should be easy to contact. Avoid contractors who seem to be disorganized, evasive or disrespectful during normal conversations.

Guarantees and Warranties

Ask the contractor about any guarantees and warranties on the work that will be performed. It is best to choose contractors who have clear written warranties. Guarantees and warranties protect homeowners if problems emerge later because of issues with materials or the work itself. Stay away from contractors who do not have written guarantees and warranties. Those contractors could do poor quality work that will cost extra to repair later.