When looking for a contractor to perform work on your home, it’s important to shop around. We talk about what to look for here, but how many estimates do you actually need to get?
First, create a list of possible contractors.
The best place to start is to ask your friends, family members and co-workers who they recommend. Sometimes realtors have connections in the construction trades. If you are coming up short, check online to find a contractor in your area with good reviews. Some good websites are Yelp, Houzz, Angie’s List, Google, and each company’s Facebook page.
Then, whittle that list down to three.
Let’s face it, everyone’s time is valuable. Setting up appointments and being at home at a certain time to meet people is a big investment of your time. There are multiple websites where you can read reviews and look at pictures of a contractor’s work. You can even talk on the phone or via email to find out if the ones you are considering would be the right match for your job.
Why is three the magic number?
If you’ve already done a little homework and are meeting with contractors who come highly recommended and do similar work to what you need, then you don’t need to get estimates from them all. Three will provide you with a range of costs and give you the opportunity to ask questions of them in person. As always, be sure you are clear on their methods and compare those to the other bids, especially if one price is significantly lower than the others. And always ensure the contractor you choose is licensed, bonded and insured.