Evaluating a Contractor

Dear Expert: What specifics should I look for when choosing a contractor in an unfamiliar city?

A: When interviewing a contractor, pay attention to the level of ease that comes with your conversation—choosing a contractor who is easy to talk with is essential when tackling a project as important as your home. Be sure to check the contractor’s references so you can hear first-hand from a homeowner what their building experience was like. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get the quality construction you desire, on schedule and at a price you can afford.

— Ed Northway, chief executive officer