So your building a home or remodelling one and you want to get some local recommendations. What do most people do? They head to the local "Big Box" home improvement store and ask them. They should have tons of great recommendations right?
Well they will have cards and indexes of contractors to choose from, but they are not necessarily "great". They get business cards and numbers from every person that has ever tried to build something and that can put you in a bad situation if your not careful. I'm not saying you should not get recommendations there, but be sure you still do your homework before you hire a recommended contractor from ANYWHERE.
Those in rural or semi rural areas may have better luck asking a home improvement store than those in urban or city areas. The stores in a rural area are often more familiar with the contractors and local home owners that have used them and therefore can make a more trustworthy recommendation. If you ask at a home improvement store be sure to ask if they are familiar with that contractors work , if not you can still call the contractor but be sure to thoroughly investigate before using him.
Some of the best places to get a recommendation is local small businesses. Say a local stone yard or a local family owned home improvement store, they are usually rich in local contractors that they know on a personal basis.
Another great idea is to find newly built homes in the area and contact the home owner. They are often a great source of recommendations, especially if they are happy with the work done. Also make small talk with friends and family that live near you ask them if they have any recommendations for you.
Ask other contractors. Say your in the middle of building a home and you have used contractors for the other phases of your home , ask them to recommend someone for the next phases of your project.
Lastly there are websites and apps dedicated to finding quality contractors. I list them last since I'm not sure about the quality of the recommendations on them. We are a member of one where the home owner pays for the information in an effort to weed out undesirable contractors. Since anyone can write a review on them I think that it's possible for competitors to write bad reviews , it makes me wonder. Another site makes the contractor pay for the info which I have looked into and since there are different prices for different programs which makes me wonder if contractors are recommended more if they are on a higher pay scale. If anyone has used these services with either good or bad results please comment below and let me know.
The point is there is no shortage of places to find contractors. The best way to get a good one is to use all of these sources. Often a particular contractors name will come up, either good or bad, several times that’s a good way to help make a short list. After you pick a few you can meet with them, get a feel for their work by asking questions and reviewing portfolio's (yes I highly recommend very contractor keep a portfolio) and do your homework before hiring your new contractor!