10 Questions to Ask a Prospective Contractor

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­Hiring­ a contractor can be similar to acquiring a brother in-law, except that when it comes to a contractor, you're the one who gets to do the choosing -- not your wayward little sister. This family aspect stems from the fact that you'll probably be seeing quite a lot of your contractor, depending on the size of the project and the amount of subcontracting involved, so it's important to find someone you can get along with who'll do the job right.

­In order to make a sound choice, there are some key questions you should pose to potential contractors -- ideally at least three candidates so you can compare their responses -- to ensure you're getting a good match. This is your home, after all; you want someone who's dependable and determined to see the project through to the end.

On the next page, we'll jump right in and learn what you need to know about a contractor before you consider making him or her a temporary addition to the family.