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Whether you need earth works, a renovation, or efficient MEP design, finding the perfect contractor who can do the job and do it well is a daunting task. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to make your job of finding a quality business a little easier.

Getting referrals from co-workers, friends, and family are a good start but have you considered checking with your local real estate as to who the best contractors are in your area. Real estate agents deal with contractors daily, and quickly get to know which ones are worth considering, and who to stay away from.

Referrals from Other Contractors
Contractors often use other contractors to complete parts of a job they aren’t qualified for. Once you develop a good relationship with a contractor you can take advantage of their knowledge about contractors in other trades who are a cut above the rest.

Check out Government Websites
There are many avenues online you can use to discover if there are any complaints made about a business through official channels such as

Review sites can also give some indication about quality but be aware that reviews can be easily faked. If in doubt review the negative reviews first as these are rarely faked.

Also consider a service website such as Service Plix as they will only send your request onto businesses they can trust. You’ll save a bunch of time as you can contact a number of contractors and get numerous quotes from the one simple interface.

Inspect their Qualifications
This one is easy. If you need engineering, electrical, or plumbing work done then it’s a simple matter of reviewing the qualifications and licenses they need to conduct business in their trade. Contractors with the right qualifications also won’t put your project in jeopardy by not knowing when you need to organize inspections or get government approval.

Get Estimates
Once you have contacted a few contractors you like who check out as reliable and qualified it’s time to get some bids rolling in. Make sure you get them in writing as verbal agreements don’t stand up in court if costs mysteriously blow out half way through the job. Sometimes costs increase beyond any control and adjustments may need to be made, but the cost increases need to at least be reasonable and justifiable.

Ask for itemized quotes which detail materials, labor, and other expenses so you know exactly what you are paying for.

Don’t Just go for The Lowest Bid
You will often hear professionals telling you not to go for the lowest bid as this usually involves cutting corners, or contractors who are desperate for work at any cost. Use your best judgment by comparing the cost against your other considerations.

Start the Relationship with Smaller Jobs
If you can start any new maintenance contract with smaller jobs to start so you can test them out. Once you get comfortable with how they work and interact with you then you can start organizing the bigger jobs with them.

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