Request three references from long-time material suppliers. Your eventual contractor’s financial solvency is important: if they don’t pay their bills, you get stuck with either a lien on your property or have to pay the bill yourself. Just disputing such a scenario in court costs time and money, so avoid the situation entirely.
When speaking with a supplier, ask questions that enlighten you as to their fiscal responsibility: How long have you sold material to Company X? Does Company X pay their bills promptly? Has Company X ever been past due on a bill? How did they resolve this issue? Would you hire Company X to work on your home? You will get a great idea of these suppliers’ true feelings about the contractor by just listening to tone of voice and reading between the lines.
So if their suppliers like them, what about the government…Step 4…
Step 1. Do their Biggest Fans Love Them?
Step 2. Are Their Most Recent Clients Happy?
Step 3. Do Their Suppliers Tolerate Them?
Step 4. Are the Feds Hunting Them?
Deren S. Monday has spent over a decade in the residential and commercial construction industry, and is a graduate of the Construction Management Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He will send his references upon request and assures you his list would be full of his biggest fans. Deren is the author of Your Cheap Kitchen Remodel: A Guide to Your Affordable Dream Kitchen. More information on his book can be found at cheapkitchenremodel.com.