It happened to me. A little while ago I hired a “contractor” to so some work at a rental property I own. If you want to see what happened, watch the video above. I’d rather not rehash the details here.

I should have followed my own advice. If you’re looking to hire a contractor to work on your home in the Twin Cities, please read on. It could save you plenty of money, or even your house (see the video).

  1. Get references. Every contractor should be able to provide you with references. Ask for them, and call them. Ask the references if they are happy with the work, if the contractor performed as expected, if the work was performed on time and on budget, and if the reference would hire the contractor again.

  2. Beware cash-only or up-front payments. For larger jobs, you may have to put down ten percent in order to get started. If it’s a small job, however, you should wait to pay until the job is finished.

  3. Check BBB. The Better Business Bureau has a lot of information on contractors. Make sure you check with BBB before hiring.  

  4. Check credentials. Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured. Discuss any warranties before you sign the contract.

  5. Understand scope of work. All but the smallest jobs should come with a detailed scope of work that includes timelines, materials to be used, and how any unforeseen circumstances will be dealt with.

You should be careful. Remember, the company you hire to work on your home will be in your life - and your home - for a while. Make sure you are completely comfortable with your contractor before agreeing to any work.

Hopefully this article will help others make better decisions than I did. If you need any other advice on real estate, appraisals, or renting in Northeast Minneapolis, let me know. I’d love to be of help.