Photo by Olgar Fallas

Update: Finding a contractor or subcontractor has never been easier. Simply searching Google will come up with hundreds of options in your local area. From large full service contractors to smaller, local concerns, there will be plenty to choose from. The trouble is, you may be spoilt for choice! You must still be discerning when choosing a contractor and not go for the cheapest option. There are now many websites where you can rate and compare your local contractors and swap advice about the best ones. If you do a Google search in your area then you’re sure to find a site with some great recommendations. If it’s a small job, you can use craigslist to find a reasonably priced local contractor and most local newspapers will have a For Hire section online.

Finding full service contractors is easy. They have big advertisements in the yellow pages, in the newspaper, and on the Internet. But just because contractors are big and can afford to spend money on big advertisements doesn’t mean that they are good, so make sure you get past the brochure and the sales pitch. You don’t necessarily want a large contractor or a small contractor; you want the best contractor for you and your project.

Finding a smaller general or subcontractor takes a little more effort. They sometimes advertise in local newspapers, such as the community ones that are given away. Try your local monthly or weekly city newspaper. The contractors who advertise here have an interest in your city and are focused on the area. The last thing they want is an unhappy customer in a town of 50,000 people, for example.

Also ask around, although you should take with a grain of salt recommendations from other homeowners. Recommendations from other subcontractors often are great. They usually give you only names of contractors that they have worked with and like doing business with. These are the ones you want to work with too. So, the next time you need some painting, a little concrete work or gardening done, ask the people you hire for the small jobs whom they would suggest for bigger jobs.