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Be leery of the door-to-door salesman who offers unbelievable deals. As the old saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” Do your research and select a contractor that offers an appropriate balance of quality and price in their work.

Don’t be coerced by high pressure sales tactics. High pressure sales techniques come from sales quotas imposed on workers to motivate volume of work over quality of work. If these workers don’t make their quotas, they don’t get paid. Because of this inherent conflict of interest, these workers often push for a larger job or higher price than needed. Don’t get “sold”!

Avoid contractors’ employees who offer to do the home repair job or improvement for less. If they are willing to steal from their company, you may not want them in and around your home. Moreover, they may not have the appropriate levels of experience or insurance coverage needed to do the work. Finally, if they fail to perform the job effectively, you could have a harder time getting differences resolved.

Seek home improvement references from trusted sources like Our membership selection has been based on countless hours of research and extensive homeowner feedback. Because of our due diligence, you are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of work provided by our members. Other useful sources of information are your neighbors, friends, family and coworkers. But, remember, one reference is not enough to make a strategic selection.

Get as many references as possible. Every company has at least a few satisfied clients but, for reasons outlined above, conducts exhaustive research before endorsing a home service provider. Likewise, we recommend that you seek as many personal references as possible, particularly if you go outside the membership base.

Interview at least three companies and ask them the “tough” questions. We recommend that you interview several contractors before making your final selection. How long have they been in business? Are they members of the Better Business Bureau? What is their contractor’s license number? Do they have “before” and “after” pictures? Will they set up a site visit with a previously served customer so that you can inspect their work firsthand? How do they resolve punch list items? Can they explain common pitfalls of the work? Can they show proof of insurance and workers’ compensation? You get the picture.

Get at least 3 “apples-to-apples” home improvement or repair quotes. Make sure to clearly outline what you want completed and get comparable quotes from at least three providers. Cheaper does not always mean better. Go with the combination of price and quality that makes the most sense given your needs and budget.

Don’t ignore the importance of chemistry. It may sound silly, but don’t ignore the importance of liking the company that you bring into your home. All things being equal, it’s helpful to choose a project partner you trust and with whom you can talk with openly about your project, especially if problems arise.