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Don't be afraid to check contractor references

Filed Under: weekend projects

If you are about to remodel that study, kitchen or bathroom, chances are you are planning to do some or all of the work yourself. You are at a do-it-yourself blog, right? Anyway, if you plan on partially completing the remodel yourself, but want to leave the code-enforced things like plumbing and electrical to outside contractors, how do you go about evaluating them?

It's no secret that many of us will ask for a list of references before choosing a contractor, but do we all contact those references and actually get feedback, or are we impressed enough with just the list?


A few pointers: find out where the contractor may be working and ask to see his or her work in progress. Is he or she punctual, professional and clean? What forms of payment do they accept (cash only can be a red flag). There is more to this, and of course, the heavier the remodel (i.e., the more you're going to spend), the more loose or tight you may be when checking up on contractor candidates. Just don't skimp when some well-spent time is needed.

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