Blah, blah, blah


Check refs

Dont forget to check references! It seems like I am constantly preaching that message, but it needs to be repeated again and again. Check references.

Actually it is really easy to do. After your potential general or sub-contractor gives you a bid, ask them to provide references. I like to ask for 4 or 5, but you can probably get by with 3. Tell them that you would like to call the past clients and may even ask to see the work. Most reputable contractors have a ready list of past work that they can steer you to.

Once you get the list of refs, make the calls. Pick up the phone and call. Ask questions about timeliness and quality. Ask about cleanliness, not only of the work area, but also of the parking area. How about communications? Did they call or text arrival times? How was the quality of work? Did the workers throw cig butts all over the front yard? Did the guys use profane language in frontt of kids? Radio on very loud? You get the idea.

Ask to come over and see the work. Most people are fairly willing to show off their new stuff. Take a look at the work. Is it what you had in mind? Does it look like pros did it? Make some notes.

Check those references. They do matter.

Kevin Robinson is a building consultant. He is formally educated in general residential construction as well as "schooled" on the job. Formerly licensed as a general contractor in the State of Idaho, he currently shows potential owner builders how they can save thousands managing it themselves.  He has written guest articles for a few construction type  magazines and also publishes his own small newsletter for owner builders. Email Kevin at


Next time, hire a building consultant!.

Comment balloon 3 commentsKevin Robinson • October 25 2009 08:30AM


Could not agree more.   Always important to know who you are working with.

Posted by Epcon Communities Epcon Columbia (Epcon Columbia, SC) over 9 years ago

Yes, right on the money. You have got to check them out. I always ask for the last 2 jobs as well.

Posted by Terry Miller, Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator (Miller Homes Group) over 9 years ago

Kevin.....right again.... there will always be some peace of mind with good references and quality work....but nothing's 100%....people change for unexpected reasons.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 9 years ago