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7 tips for hiring the best contractor

Talk to friends and neighbors
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Referrals are a primary source for finding a good contractor, says Paul DiMeo, designer and co-star of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." "You want to make sure that, whoever you're using, that you have a personal referral," he says. "That's why it's best to talk to a friend."

Then follow up with your own due diligence, says Holmes. Good referrals alone are "not enough," he says. "Just because a friend liked the contractor, doesn't mean the job was done right. But that's a good starting point."

Another promising sign is when two sources recommend the same pro. When Norm Abram, the master carpenter of "This Old House," needed someone to retrofit a home with air conditioning, he asked one of the show's contractors for a recommendation. The same name was mentioned again by a local pro Abram respected.

"I went ahead and ended up hiring him, and he did a great job," Abram says.

Do your part on the other end of the referral process, too. When you do find someone great, "tell everyone," says Holmes.


 

 

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