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How do I know I've hired a good tradesman?

Part of any building project, whether it be new construction or a remodel, is hiring contractors and tradesmen with the skill and experience necessary to complete the project. No matter how complex or minor your project may be, as a property owner you want to know the job is done right. After all, property represents a significant investment, and the last thing homeowners want to deal with is a lengthy legal dispute after shoddy work.

So what is a homeowner to do before hiring a tradesman to ensure they perform up to par? Well, the first thing to do is ask questions. Read reviews, ask friends and relatives, even neighbors about their experience with tradesman in your area. Consider looking at properties they've done work on. Nothing speaks to a professional's level of ability like word of mouth. If, after your investigation, you like what you hear and see, it may be safe to proceed.

Even if a tradesman's work is acceptable, their price may not be. When looking into hiring a tradesman, get a quote. And, not just from one tradesman but from several. Many times, even a simple quote will provide you with important information that can be used when making a decision to hire.

Lastly, and most importantly, examine your contract thoroughly. A comprehensive contract, regardless of the task at hand, should include information that outlines everything from your expectations and a deadline, to liability insurance and a cost for completion.

If you are looking to hire a tradesman and have done your due diligence, received a quote and examine your contract, you may want to still get the opinion of an experienced lawyer. An attorney with business and commercial law experience can advise prior to entering into a contract with a tradesman, or can represent you if problems arise.

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