smart spending

7 tips for hiring the best contractor

Make a good match
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Interviewing a professional contractor is like dating, Holmes says. You want to get to know the person. Ask about his or her experience, life history, specialties, and what work he or she really loves to do.

Also cover the nuts and bolts: Is the contractor licensed? Insured?

"You can't ask them enough questions," says Holmes. "And if they're not pros, they're quickly going to leave your house."

At various points during the job, the work has to be inspected, and you want to be there for each of these milestones. Mention this before you hire. "Any contactor who says 'I don't want you there,' you don't want to deal with them," Holmes says.

Interview contractors until you find the right one -- even if it takes awhile. "You have to keep going until you're 100 percent happy," Holmes says. "Trust your instincts."




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