Tips for Hiring a Contractor

by Lisa Stewart 8 Nov 2017

An interior designer’s advice for remodeling or building.

Are you considering working with a contractor for remodeling or building a new home? Here are some things to consider.

Get at least three estimates that include everything from repairs, warranties to clean-up. The unforeseen things can get you, and you don't want to be gotten!

Don't be too quick to jump at the lowest bid. A Consumer Reports survey showed that people who used the lowest bidder got poorer quality work. On the flipside going with the highest bidder doesn't guarantee great work either.

Call at least three references. Ask about quality, clean-up, how changes were handled, if calls were returned, and if the job was completed on time and on budget. If not, find out why.


Make sure the contractor is licensed. In North Carolina, a contractor's license is only required for jobs costing $30,000 or more. But while a license doesn't guarantee success in a job, it does indicate a certain level of professionalism and competence. You can check their licensing status at the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors.

Get proof of insurance and verify it so that you're not liable for problems. Ask them to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance dated for the project dates and issued by the Insurance Provider before they start work on your home.  

Get a written contract that specifically lists what will be done, a payment schedule and a time table, including a completion date.

Ready to start a project? Read more here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

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