Finding the right person to do work on your boat is a process. However, it’s an extremely important one! You get what you pay for, and this is never more true than when you’re hiring a home contractor. Invest time and energy before you hire someone by checking the contractor’s credentials and requiring a written contract. These four tips will help you avoid problems down the road. 

1. Do plenty of research.
Ask potential contractors for copies of their license, insurance and bonding capacity, and then verify the given information is current and correct. Ask for references, and thoroughly vet them. Look online for news articles, customer reviews, and violation reports. 

2. Be cautious of bargain bids.
Try not to judge a contractor solely on his price. Low bids aren’t necessarily the best deal. They’re probably low for a reason. Low bids are sometimes on par with a lower level of service, and that’s certainly not what you want. At the same time, just because a bid is high doesn’t indicate a higher level of service. You might just be working with a busy contractor who doesn’t need more work. Whenever you receive a bid that’s significantly higher or lower than the others, ask the contractor about the difference.

3. Communication is everything.
You’re trusting your contractor with an extremely expensive investment. Because of this, it’s important to hire someone who makes you feel comfortable, is communicative to your needs, and is timely with responses. If they don’t respond to you when they’re trying to land your business, do you think they’ll respond to you any faster when they’re in the middle of a repair or renovation? Pay attention, because these small things are usually accurate indicators of larger things. 

4. Don’t pay upfront.
If your contractor wants to be paid in full upfront, run. Sometimes, a down payment is necessary to cover materials. However, most of the money should be due when the work is completely and you’re happy with the results.