What to Look For When Hiring A Contractor


To acquire a license to be a general contractor is different in different states.  Georgia for example requires you to have a license if the work exceeds $2,500.  You need to have a net worth of at least $150,000 and to pass the Georgia Business and Law exam.  Every state is different and if you are thinking about obtaining a  general contractors license you would be wise to be prepared and find out what you need to do before printing business cards or other type of printed advertisements.

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Research your contractor before you hire

CHARLESTON, SC -The city of Charleston gives you three main requirements you need when hiring a contractor. Without these, it is harder for you to ensure they repair your home to your standards.

After hurricane Hugo, the city of Charleston got stricter on their requirements for contractors working on homes like the ones that me saw high floodwaters last week.

First, it is important that a contractor be licensed in the state of South Carolina.

Second, if you live in the City of Charleston they must have a city business license.

Lastly, all contractors should have a separate permit that allows them to work in a floodplain if you live in one.

It’s important to follow these guidelines so that you can get help from the city if your contractor does not do a good job.

Angie’s List: How to Hire a Contractor

Talk to homeowners who’ve remodeled and 8 out of 10 may tell you how hard it was to find the right contractor or provide stories about what went wrong. Angie’s Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, has spent 20 years helping people hire the right company the first time, and she shares her best hiring advice in this report.

“I hate to hear bad contractor stories because I hear so many good ones! What is important for consumers to remember is once they pick their contractor, take the time to outline all the details of their project because it can be time very well spent,” said Angie Hicks.

Angie says good hiring starts with a three-step process: get at least three written estimates; check references and credentials; and negotiate a contract that ties payment to progress. Never hire based solely on an advertisement or recommendation and don’t pay too much too soon.

Top 8 Pro Tips on How to Hire a Contractor

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares eight tips to selecting and working with a qualified contractor.

Get Recommendations

Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.

Hiring a contractor? Here’s what you need to know

Word of mouth and a good rapport go a long way when you’re hiring anyone for anything — but if you’re deciding on a contractor, you should go a few steps further. If you communicate well with each other, you’ll save a lot of emotional stress as the project progresses.

Check the paperwork

Most home project contractors aren’t required by the state to be licensed, but most reputable ones are registered, says Karen Watkins, executive officer of the Building Industry Association of Lancaster County. Legislation passed in 2008 requires home improvement contractors who do more than $5,000 of work annually to register with the state’s Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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