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Tips On Choosing the Right Contractor

Tips On Choosing the Right Contractor

There is more to choosing the right contractor than just finding the lowest price. Communication, feeling comfortable working with your contractor and trust are also major factors in choosing a contractor to complete your home improvement or new construction project to your satisfaction.


  • Ask for references – Whether hiring a licensed contractor or a handy person, check references. Talk to homeowners the contractor or handy person has done work for in the past. Was the work finished? Did the contractor keep to the planned schedule? Did the contractor return phone calls? Was the work finished? Would they hire the contractor again?

  • Get two or three detailed written bids – Explain your job fully to each contractor that you request a bid from to ensure you get equal bids for comparison.

  • Don’t automatically accept the lowest bid – A low bid may look good on paper however you will still need to inquire further into the quality of workmanship, quality of materials, or whether the contractor will be forced to cut corners to get the job done.
    Equally, don’t automatically accept the highest bid – Do not assume that the highest bid will get you the best quality materials or workmanship. As in any bid, check out references and inquire about materials.

  • Permits – Verify that the licensed contractor you choose will obtain the necessary building permits. If you choose a handy person to complete your job, verify which permits you as property owner should obtain.

  • If you choose to hire a licensed contractor, make sure your contractor is properly licensed. A license is not an endorsement of the quality of a contractor’s work but hiring a licensed contractor does provide some financial protection for you as the customer. Verify a contractor’s license through the Idaho State of Idaho Occupational Licenses, Idaho Contractors Board.

  • If you choose to hire a licensed contractor, make sure your contractor is properly insured. – Ask your contractor for a copy of his proof of liability insurance and bonding, or verify coverage through the contractor’s insurance agent.

  • After meeting with prospective contractors, checking references and reviewing bids decide how you feel about the contractor? – Can you communicate well with the contractor about your project? Does the contractor understand your needs? Are you comfortable with this person working in your home?

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