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9 Guaranteed Ways to Find a Great Contractor

Updated: Jan 26, 2021


Contractor doing carpentry work for a home renovation
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Let’s be honest. Contractors have a bad reputation. Many homeowners have concerns about whether they’re working with a legit contractor or someone who wants to scam them and runoff.

I once heard a story about how a homeowner hired a contractor to do a $60,000 job. Everything seemed on the up and up:


  • All of their paperwork checked out.

  • They allegedly had licenses.

  • They said all the right things.


The homeowner paid the contractor the full $60,000 upfront, and the contractor was never heard from again.


Yikes!!!


I, too, hired a contractor who consistently lied to me telling me work was completed; meanwhile, it wasn’t. Most of what they did was cover up stuff up, hide it, and lie about it.


I didn’t lose $60,000, but I lost enough.


I’m going to teach you how you can find a great contractor, and how to properly pay your contractors so you can avoid the fate of many unfortunate homeowners out there.


1. Yelp


Yelp is a great way to look for local contractors who have already been used by other residents in your city.


When looking for contractors on Yelp, thoroughly read all of the reviews. Check to see if people mention the following:


  • They showed up on time.

  • They listened to your needs.

  • They came in on budget.

  • They fixed any issues without giving you a hard time.


If the contractor you’re looking for has mostly positive reviews, and one bad one that trashes them, maybe they had a bad day. No one is perfect.


Contractors with mostly negative reviews should be avoided. And contractors with no reviews, well, use them at your own risk! Someone has to be the first to try them out, right?


Yelp does not allow businesses to remove reviews and discourages business owners from soliciting reviews of any kind.


Let’s take a look at searching for Contractors directly on Yelp.


When you go to www.yelp.com, you’ll see a search box like the one in the photo below.


Put “Contractors” and your city.

Searching for a contractor on Yelp

After you search, Yelp will pull all the results for contractors in your area.

The first several results or so will be sponsored meaning, the owner of the company is paying to have their ad placed at the top of the search results.

Yelp sponsored contractor search results

After the sponsored section, the organic results are displayed. The organic results are contractors who have earned the top spots on Yelp naturally without paid advertising, and might be a good bet for you to call up!

Yelp all results for contractors

Be aware though, the highest-ranked contractors are likely to be heavily booked and more expensive.

2. Facebook


Facebook is another excellent place to look for contractors online. Like Yelp, Facebook provides a list of local contractors in your area, and Facebook will also let you know if anyone in your city recommends certain contractors.


First, of course, you’ll have to make sure you’re logged in to Facebook.


Once you’re logged in to Facebook, type:


Contractors, “your city, your state.”

Searching for contractors on Facebook

Then be sure to select the pages tab at the top. Once you’ve completed your search and selected pages, you’ll get a list of contractors in your area. Right off the bat, you can see if the contractors that are pulled up have any likes or not.

Search results for contractors on Facebook

Once you find a contractor you’re interested in, click on their icon to pull up additional information. In this photo, for example, you can see what services this contractor offers, and you can see they have a few recommendations from others who have used them.

Contractors information screen on Facebook

The more recommendations, the better!


A word of caution when using Facebook for locating contractors:


Sometimes, I find Facebook will return ridiculous results. I've had Facebook return car dealerships when searching for contractors, which makes no sense!


And I've had Facebook return contractors that are located seven states away from where I searched.


Why? I don't know why, but it happens.


Make sure you double-check the contractor is local to you and has recommendations, and you should be able to find a good one on Facebook.


Pro Tip: You can also try searching for other terms, such as "home remodelers," to find good contractors.


3. Thumbtack


Thumbtack is another great place you can look for contractors. Thumbtack offers a similar experience to Yelp too, so, if you're used to Yelp, you'll be right at home here.


First, you'll have to go to www.thumbtack.com.

Once you get there, you'll see a simple search bar, like in the photo below.

Searching for contractors using Thumbtack

Insert what you're looking for in the search bar and the zip code you need it in. In the above example, I'm searching for Home remodelers in 94587.


Hit search, and you'll be given plenty of results to choose from. Below, you can see an example of how the results are returned.


You'll be able to see how long the contractor has been in business, how many times they have been hired through Thumbtack, and if they typically respond quickly to inquiries.


If you're interested in learning more about the contractor, click to view their profile.


Thumbtack's contractor search results

When you click to view a contractor's profile, you'll see a few options.

  • You can learn more about them.

  • View their photos.

  • Check out reviews.

  • Review their credentials.

  • And look at any FAQ's the contractor has provided.


Contractor detail page on Thumbtack

Thumbtack can also let you know if:


  • The contractor has a verified license.

  • And if the contractor has passed a background check.


If you like everything you see, you can request a quote right from Thumbtack.


How easy is that?


Additionally, Thumbtack offers you a guarantee of up to $2,500 for shoddy work performed by a contractor hired through the platform.


4. Angie's List


Angie's List is another online directory where you can look for good contractors. Let's get started.


Head to www.angieslist.com


You'll see a typical homepage that allows you to search for contractors near you, like in the image below.

Searching for contractors on Angie's List

I decided to search for home remodelers for this example.

After you hit find pros, you'll be taken to the next screen to narrow your search. You can type into the bar what you're looking for, or you can select a service you need from the "Popular Service" list towards the bottom of the page. You can view the photo below for reference.

Angie's List contractors details screen

I selected the "Additions & Remodels" service, and it brings you here:

Angie's List services page

Select the service you need; I chose Bathroom Remodel for this example, and then Angie's List will prompt you with a few more questions to help get you to the best professionals in your area.

Answer the questions as accurately as possible, as this will help you connect with the best contractor for the job.


Once you get through all of the questions, Angie's List will provide you a selection of contractors to choose from.


5. Craigslist Labor Section


Craigslist can be another great way to find a contractor, but I will give you a word of caution. Craigslist does not have reviews nor does it vet the contractors that advertise themselves on there in any way.


You are on your own on Craigslist, so I would consider this a little more of an advanced method of finding a contractor, simply because of the lack of information you have on them.


With that being said, you can still find a great contractor in the "Labor/move" section, as you see below.


Go to www.craigslist.com, and it'll be right there on the home page.


Finding a contractor on Craigslist


6. Google Maps


The last online resource I have for you to find contractors is, of course, Google.

Google "Contractors near me" and Google will provide a list of local contractors for you to choose from.

Google will take