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Is that next home project more than a DIY? Here are tips for finding a contractor

Q: I don’t know about you, but all this rain has done quite a number on my house. A leak in the roof has spread into the walls. I’m totally out of my element when it comes to fixing a cabinet door, much less, repairing a few walls. I obviously need a good contractor so, without further ado, my query is this: How do I find a good contractor that I can trust? I’ve been through the ringer the past few years dealing with some of these contractors that have always flaked out on me, or don’t even show up at all. Do you have some tips on finding a contractor that I can trust?

A: First and foremost, you will want to do your homework. Be sure to do background checks on all potential candidates that you come across, see if you can find some information on them. Try finding reviews and/or complaints that they have received in the past; bbb.org is a great place to find this sort of information.

You will then want to ask the contractors that you’ve selected for a quote on how much the job will cost. If you don’t know where to start, you can request free quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses at bbb.org/central-california-inland-empire/quote. You will usually want to collect at least three quotes for comparison. BBB reminds that the lowest bid doesn’t always equal the best bid, as the quality of the work might be affected.

Make sure that the contractor you select is insured, bonded and has a current license. A contractor’s license must come from the Contractor’s State License Board. A contractor performing any job over $500 total must have an active license or is otherwise obligated to tell you that they are not officially licensed. Check cslb.ca.gov for more details.

Keep records of the entire project – a copy of your contract, all receipts, payment confirmations, emails, permits, etc.

You can always check bbb.org for more information on finding the right contractor for the job.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems toAction Line at the BetterBusiness Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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