want to get a contractor how do i get bids in my area

6 Replies

@Bobbie Dancy working with contractors is a little like dating. There's a lot of fish in the sea and they're not all for you. You dream about working with some and there's a lot of ugly ones that you want to steer clear of! There are a couple of decent ways to get contractors:

-Check your local building supply house (not the big box stores). Ask for references for specific trades. Don't go in asking for a list for every trade but if you're looking for a general contractor etc. just ask. Most places are happy to recommend a guy or two. More often than not, there's a contractor in there that has a buddy that does what you're looking for. 

-Show up to Lowes/HD/big box store at 7 am. Snag a few business cards from the guys getting material for the day. The guys that show up early are the guys that get work done. Contractors that shop for the day at 10 am are the contractors that show up to your jobsite at noon to start working. 

-You can chance it with Thumbtack, Craigslist, etc but you get what you pay for. I've had far more luck with Thumbtack than CL though. Be prepared to babysit a lot of these guys. 

Get a few bids. Take the middle one. Ask for references/pictures/referrals/licenses/insurance.

Originally posted by @Bobbie Dancy :

Hello my name is Bobbie I want to find contractors how do I get bids and referrals in my area; Cleveland, Ohio

Talk to some brokers and real estate investors in the area to get recommendations. You can find them by calling local real estate agencies and going to investment meetups.

If the same names keep popping up, then the contractor is probably solid. Do your due diligence by visiting his current projects or talking to people who've hired him before.

@Bobbie Dancy

If you know you are going to need drywall done then call a few painters and see who the like to follow. This works with pretty much any part of the rehab/building process except for the foundation guys.

Happy Hunting!

+1 to what @Ben Sears said.  I'll add to that: when you find one, look up their license number.  After that (if the license number cleared) check local membership clubs.  So where I live we have the AHBA (Asheville home builders association), green built alliance and a few others.  If they are members of similar clubs in your area, the likely hood of you being ripped off is slim. 

1# Go to Craigslist and post your job in the right gig section.

2# tell as much about the job and what your looking for as possible.

3# post some pictures to give a better idea of the job.

4# have the contractors tell a little about their work history etc.

5# pay the $5 fee to post your add.

6# Get swamped with folks wanting work.

7# Take down your add in less than a day as not waste folks time since you now have more than enough help.

I have found some good and bad help thru this method. More good than bad:)

You have to be a good judge of character to some degree, but I still hire wrong from time to time.

My latest good find came from just asking at a small local hardware store.