Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
Press Release

BBB Tip: Having trouble finding a qualified contractor? Try these tips


By - Feb 26th, 2024 07:00 am

Milwaukee, Wis. – Depending on the economy, it can sometimes be a struggle to find a qualified contractor. The job market and supply chain issues can sometimes make hiring for home remodeling and repair projects difficult, and sometimes it can be challenging to find trustworthy, reliable, skilled contractors.

What’s a homeowner to do? BBB has the following tips if you are looking for a contractor for your home improvement project.

Hiring a contractor during a shortage or difficult market

  • Understand the challenges. It’s typical for specialized subcontractors, such as electricians, to prefer to work for general contractors. That arrangement means they can get repeat work instead of depending on one-time projects. Your project may not be high on a contractor’s priority list. Accepting this fact and knowing your search may take some time, can ease some of your stress. You can also ask around and learn which general contractors might be able to help you.
  • Be prepared to pay more. Be realistic when it comes to how much your project will cost. Bids on your project may be more expensive than what you expected, depending on the current job market and available contractors. Being willing to pay more for in-demand materials and quality work can make you more attractive to contractors.
  • Be a good communicator. If you communicate clearly and create a comfortable working environment for contractors, they may be more willing to take on your project.
  • Find contractors by asking other contractors. Beyond asking your friends, neighbors, and family members for recommendations, you can also ask for references from contractors you know. For example, if you’re looking for an electrician, ask your plumber if they can recommend someone.
  • Be flexible with evening and weekend work. You may be able to find a contractor who is moonlighting while working a 9 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday job. Perhaps this person is building up a client base before starting their own business, or they simply want the extra income.
  • Start looking before you need someone. If your neighbor gets a stellar kitchen remodel from a quality contractor, get their contact information, even if you aren’t planning a kitchen remodel. This contact information can reduce your search time when you are ready to hire a contractor.
  • Check with a national association. If word of mouth doesn’t get you any results, try using a pro-finder tool on the National Association of Home Builders or the National Association for the Remodeling Industry. Remember, you’ll still need to check out individual contractors you find on these sites before you hire them, such as looking at their profile on BBB.org.
  • Do a background check. Once you have a candidate or two, ask the contractor for proof of insurance and licensure. You can also look them up on BBB.org to check their licensure, see their business rating and read customer reviews and complaints.
  • Don’t make a hasty decision. Hiring just anyone who says they’ll accept the job can be tempting if you’ve been searching for weeks or months already. Still, it’s best to wait until you find a qualified professional with a good business reputation. If you don’t and things go awry, there won’t be much you can do to get your money back or the damages repaired.

For more information

Find trusted, vetted contracting pros near you and get a quote. Review BBB’s tip on hiring a reliable contractor for more advice on this topic, and visit our HomeHQ page for even more information for homeowners.

Always look for businesses that follow BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust.

View the online version

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 25,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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