how do most homeowners go about finding a contractor to bid on the work they want done on their home

  • September 23 2010 - Braintree
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Answers (24)

Your real estate agent may have a contractor they have worked with before with their clients and can recommend to you.  Check with them.  In fact, most experienced agents have a list of many vendor referrals for real estate and home-related needs.  So stay in touch with your agent and go to them with any questions - that's what they're there for!

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
  • November 14 2011
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Profile picture for GabrielSuh
As a painting contractor, I think the best way to find a qualified contractor is to ask your neighbors. I wouldn't be surprised if some of your neighbors use the same contractor or company. Your neighbor can share with you their experience and you can see if they provide quality work by looking at your neighbor's home. I also wrote a short checklist of questions to ask when you're looking for a painting contractor. 
  • November 14 2011
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Most areas will have a trade group or builder's association. They will have a list of certified or professional builders
  • January 26 2011
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Ask your friends, family and coworkers.  Nothing beats a good referral!  Although, you could always try a NARI certified remodeling company.
  • January 26 2011
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The best luck I have had is names from friends and family and I have had good luck from stopping by ongoing jobs and chatting with the contractors.
  • January 13 2011
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Nothing beats a "referral" from a reliable person you know well.
  • January 13 2011
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This may just be a regional service, but I use something called "Service Magic" quite frequently. It's a referral service for contractors. 100% good luck so far (knock on wood...)

  • January 13 2011
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A bid worth having requires a job description that is comprehensive and detailed.  A competitive bid based on a few notes and a walk through will not yield a competitive bid.  The job description is too loose.

An architect knows competent contractors who are suited to the scope of work.  The architect can also describe the job in generic, technical terms that does not leave the contractor inappropriate room to provide unacceptable results.   Start right to finish well.

  • January 13 2011
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Ask your friends, neighbors and Realtor for referrals.  As a Realtor I regularly recommend the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engineers, painters, roofers, landscapers, handymen and contractors who I know will do quality work at reasonable prices for my clients.  For major renovations try to take a look at some of the work the contractor has recently done, speak to those homeowners, google the contractor and check to see if there is any information about the contractor with the Better Business Bureau.

  • January 12 2011
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Hi Fred,

I always direct my clients to go to www.servicemagic.com.  If you are not there, I highly recommend you do!

Good luck!

Judy Boyle
RE/MAX Signature Properties
  • November 09 2010
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Our work comes mostly from prior clients. If you are a true professional, you will never leave an unhappy client, no matter what!! Ask friends, neighbors and family members. Sometimes, clients expect to get champagne and are only willing to pay for water, which creates a problem. We stay away from these kind of people and just like a client is interviewing you for their project, we also interview them to see if they are someone we want to work for. A Contractor that is pushy and tries to oversell a job is someone to stay away from. Check all the references!!
  • November 07 2010
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There are many ways to find a contractor, but time should always be spent checking the backround of them. I have heard so many horror stories that deal with a company not finishing or doing sub-standard work.

There are a few online companies that do checks on their contractors before they are listed within their site.  Since these contractors are paying a fee for leads, they will almost always contact to about getting you a quote on your work. These sites usually don't charge the consumer anything, so beware.

Also, make sure that you get several quotes and that are broken down.
This will help make sure that all items of concern are covered in the actual bid. It also makes it easier to compare different companies and their underlying costs such as travel and possibly purchasing cost.
  • November 01 2010
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See who your neighbors use.  They will have suggestions and fairly good advice.  The yellow pages are also a good place to begin.  The internet is also a good source.
  • October 12 2010
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Fred, I agree with all that has been suggested but as a contractor you should never forget your blue book directory.  I always keep an updated copy in my office.  As a Realtor I refer many contractors but from time to time I have to find someone new.  Believe it or not The Blue Book is a good place as well and will not cost you anything to be listed in it.  Good luck.
  • October 08 2010
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Most FHA 203k consultants will have a list of contractors for you to consider or will have a suggestion for you. The key is that your contractor should hopefully be local... that is you have made a commitment to a neighborhood for your home purchase so you should further then support that neighborhood if possible. If all else is equal then you should hire close to home.
  • October 07 2010
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Our experience has been that some of our highly regarded contracts, sub-contractors, interior designers, landscapers, trash haulers, etc. work well for some clients & are totally wrong for others.  Vendors that have a great track record suddenly flake on a client & we feel bad about recommending them to our clients.  We tell people that so and so has done a great job, but you must keep an eye on the project, the budget, deadlines, etc.  Even the best slip up every now and then.
  • October 05 2010
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New homeowners will seek advice from their Realtor; others will discuss with friends in their neighborhood and then perhaps use online sources for validation.
  • September 27 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Friends, family, Angie's list, advertisements in local paper and follow up with references.
  • September 24 2010
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The best way is to ask your experienced Realtor and also check with your friends and relatives.  Most realtors offices have a compiled list of the best contractors, attorneys, painters, decorators, sgtagers, movers, etc.  You should also get at least three bids and requestg a recommendation and pictures of the work done.

Best of luck,

Mimi  [contact info removed by moderator]

  • September 23 2010
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Ask friends and family or your Real Estate Agent.  Check with The Better Business Bureau before you hire.
  • September 23 2010
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Hi Fred, I agree with Steve & Michael. Most homeowners use referrals from freinds, relatives and their Realtor. I just had a past client the other day call me for local contractor information, and who I would reccommend in doing the work for them.

  • September 23 2010
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Also the State of Mass website www.Mass.gov has great info on checking their licences, making sure they have insurances and other guides to assist you. Make sure to also check their refrences, go by and see the quality of their work and even the better business bureau.

Hope that helps,
  • September 23 2010
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FreddieIII, I agree with Mike.  But then I looked at your profile and saw that you are an experienced contractor.  If you don't already get business from REALTORs, and if you want more business, I'd suggest you drop in on about 3-10 of the busiest real estate offices in your area and leave business cards or flyers with a special offer or coupon or another reason to call you.  We have the most productive office in town, and people leave stuff here all the time.  Or ask the receptionist if you can speak with the broker or if she will tell you some of the better agents' names and numbers or email addresses.  Ask those people what kind of work they often need so that you're not advertising the wrong service.  Here it would probably be your carpentry because many homes need a small amount of WDO repair in order to close.  I've also had contractors or landscapers call me from a sign.  If you see property for sale in neighborhoods where you'd like to work, it might be worth calling the listing agent to let her or him know you're the best choice. 
  • September 23 2010
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The best place to find a contractor is through a personal referral.  If you don't know someone who has used the trade you need recently, then call yyour Realtor.  We work with more tradespeople than you can imagine, from rehab property to pre-listing fix-ups.  Chances are your realtor has a good referral for you...

You may also check a web-site like agnie's List (www.angieslist.com) for a list of tradespeople to interview, but beware, they are untested!

Good Luck!

  • September 23 2010
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