Not all contractors are created equal
If your handyperson says they can “do it all,” watch out; electrical, plumbing and structural fixes require a licensed professional. A sure sign that contractors can be trusted is if they tell you they’re not the best person to do a particular job and recommend someone else instead.
Research is key
Good contractors get work through word of mouth, so they don’t really need to advertise. When you’re looking to hire someone, says Steve Maxwell, a widely published home improvement coach, ask friends and family for recommendations. If the job is large, consider several options, ask for at least three references and speak to previous clients before you sign any contracts. Can’t rely on word of mouth? Consider searching for contractors by checking out online renovation review services.
Schedule an annual checkup
Ask a contractor to inspect your house once a year. Do you need to caulk around your windows and doors? Are any shingles loose? It’s a lot less expensive to hire someone to address those things than it is to replace them after years of neglect.