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How do I check a contractor or service provider?

Checking the credentials of a contractor or service provider is the most important aspect in selecting the right company or individual for your project. Many details about the service providers are available on the respective member profile page. Here are some of pointers thatíll help you in selecting a reliable service provider:

If youíve had a good prior experience of working with the contractor or service provider, that is a good indication for the new project as well.

If the contractor is licensed, check out the license status from the Member Profile page, and verify all the relevant details of the contractor. An unlicensed contractor should, generally, not be hired. You can also check out if the Better Business Bureau (BBB) records.

Check out if the contractor has Workmenís Compensation and General Liability Insurance by asking for the relevant certificates. An uninsured contractor should, generally, be avoided.

Check out the business longevity of the contractor. The rule is: the longer the contractor is in business with the same name, as greater should be his reliability.

The stability and permanence is another decisive factor in selecting a contactor. The best one will have a business office with address, the next best is the provider with a home office, and the least reliable one is the one with only cell-phone number to contact.

Check references from the previous customers of the contractor. At least 5 positive references should be the minimum criterion for selection. However, if some provider is new to the site, obviously he/she wonít have many references to show. If the other particulars of a new service provider are impressive, then lack of references can be ignored. However, negative references should be seen as a sure warning signal against selecting that contractor.

Some other miscellaneous considerations include the price (not more than 30% should be demanded upfront, and final payment on completion), clarity of scope of work, guarantee of completion of work, and readiness to sign an Independent Contractor Agreement.