Almost half of all projects signed by a contractor are the result of client referrals. An additional 22 percent of jobs are the result of word-of-mouth referrals. These are your best sources for leads:
- Business Colleagues
- Real Estate Agents
- The local National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) chapter in your area
- The Find a Pro section of the NARI Web site
- Job site signs — Pay particular attention to homes with signs of their contracting company on their lawn. Is the site clean? Are tools and materials being handled in a responsible manner? Are there dust covers over the owner's belongings to protect them?
- Local Media Attention — Look for articles about local remodelers. Also check out local home improvement columns in the newspaper and radio talk shows in your area-they can be a great source for finding a qualified, personable contractor.
- Direct Mail — Some contractors will send direct mail to homeowners within a few blocks of a current job. Call and ask the homeowner if you could tour the project with the contractor.
- Seminars — Attend local seminars on home improvement topics. Some firms host free seminars on how to choose a remodeler and other interesting remodeling topics. Check your local newspaper community news section for information.
- Home Shows — This is a somewhat tricky place to interview contractors since they will be surrounded by other consumers. However, this is a great place to gather information about companies and to make an initial contact with the contractors.