Q: I’m now getting estimates to add a front porch to my house. What is the standard way to check on the licensing and insurance of the contractor, and the standard method of payment, such as certain percentage paid upfront or at the finish? –Connie D.
A: There are actually a couple of steps that I recommend to anyone looking to hire a contractor:
1. Know specifically what you want to have done. The more information you have available for the contractor, the better.
2. Try to get personal referrals, rather than relying on the phone book. If you have a friend or a relative who had some work done on their home that they were pleased with, that’s a great starting point. You can get some honest feedback about the contractor’s skill level, price, scheduling, level of cooperation, and much more. There are a lot of contractors out there to choose from, and, like most businesses, they succeed or fail mostly by their reputation, so a good referral is very helpful.