How Do You Find The Right Contractor?


You’ve made the decision to renovate, you have a general budget in mind, and now you have to find the right person to collaborate with and execute your hopeful plan.  So how do you find the right contractor?

Let me say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of interviewing prospects.  I see great value in meeting with at LEAST 3-4 different candidates when treading into any unfamiliar territory.  Why?  First, you learn more about your wants and needs after each interview.  You learn more about the process by listening to different perspectives.  You start to glean a real sense of average costs when getting quotes from a handful of prospects.  And lastly, you give yourself a chance to see who you really connect with.  

Here are a few different routes to explore when searching for the right contractor:

  • Family & Friends.  Recommendations are always fantastic.  It certainly helps to know that a contractor showed up on time, managed a project well and saw a renovation through from beginning to end.

  • Buyers or sellers who have renovated.  If you know someone (perhaps a neighbor or even a real estate agent) who has gone through a recent renovation, see who they worked with and how the project went.

  • Your management company or super.  These are excellent resources when it comes to contractors.  They have likely seen many workmen come through your building and can let you know who has been a problem and who has been great at what they do.

  • Angie’s List.  A great source for recommendations.  You can browse through this site and read an awful lot of feedback on local candidates.  Angie’s List has a great rating system that ranks businesses from A to F.

  • Home Advisor.  Another site that is similar to Angie’s List.  Again, they list many home improvement pros with recommendations/feedback.  My only warning with this site is that if you fill out your information for free, they do pass it on directly to prospects who end up calling and emailing you. 

Do your homework in deciding which contractors to interview.  Once you have narrowed your choices down, it’s always helpful to check sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp just to make sure there aren’t any outstanding issues with your candidates.  Once you have chosen your select few, you’re onto scheduling interviews and prepping for the questions you want answered.  

Have specific questions about NYC renovations?  I have personally gone through them, so don't hesitate to reach out.