We can’t always rely on our own skills to get the job done, that’s why so many homeowners are in need of a good contractor to see those home improvement projects through. Not everybody is well-rounded enough to be able to tackle difficult repair or maintenance projects, nor does everybody know a contractor or have one in their immediate circle of family and friends. Then there’s the issue of how exactly to find a good and reliable contractor in the first place, especially if you’ve never dealt with one before.

Making the wrong choice can leave you wishing you had just done the job yourself, can do more damage than good, or can leave you feeling burned and taken to the cleaners. Thankfully, with some persistence and the right know-how, finding a good contractor is easier than you think.

Ask people you trust

The first thing you should do in your quest to find a reliable contractor is to turn to the people you trust the most. Ask your family members, friends and neighbours who they recommend, and what kind of experiences they’ve had with local contractors. If they’re willing to make recommendations or warn against certain contractors, you can trust that they’ve already done the research and you can use this to expedite your search. Referrals are one of the best ways to track down high quality contractors, especially since the people giving those referrals can confirm that they’re already had positive experiences.

It’s also a good idea to ask business owners or professionals in your life for referrals. Trusted business owners or your accountant, lawyer, realtor, banker, plumber, electrician, or any other professionals you’ve dealt with can make excellent referrals, especially if they deal with contractors on a regular basis.

Do your own research

With information constantly at your fingertips, there’s just no reason not to do your own research. In addition to getting referrals from people you trust, it’s important to use the information available to you to your advantage. Look at online reviews on social media for a general idea of what people have experienced, but remember that you shouldn’t stop here because it won’t give you the full picture.

Once you’ve checked out the online reviews posted publicly, check to see if the contractor or business is listed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If they are, it means they’ve either paid for the BBB listing, or there have been complaints lodged against them. If no complaints show up on the BBB listing, keep in mind that it may have been removed after the contractor or business took steps to remedy or compensate the complainant. On the BBB’s website, you’ll be able to check for reviews to get an even better idea of what the general public thinks of the contractor or business.

After this, head on over to the official Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website and type in the name of the business or contractor in question. This will pull up any official court cases against that person or business, and give you a good idea of their history and reputation. If nothing comes up, then you might be in luck.

Finding good contractors in Muskoka

With these tips, finding a good contractor in Muskoka is easy. When you’re in need of a high quality contractor in the Muskoka region, it’s always a good idea to book in advance of the summer season whenever possible. This is the busiest time of year for contractors, and their bookings often start filling up by late April. If you miss the summer season, don’t fret – you can always book for fall before the snow arrives.

For a great local place to ask for contractor referrals, check with your local lake association. Lake associations deal with a wide variety of businesses and contractors, giving them a good idea who is reliable and who should be avoided. Whenever possible, handle cosmetic jobs and simple repairs yourself, as it’s often a better option than hiring a contractor if you live in the country – save time and money by saving contractors for the big repairs or projects you don’t have the skills to take on.

For projects involving door and window installation, repair, or maintenance, choose Muskoka Window & Door Centre. For years, our team has been the first choice for Muskoka cottage and homeowners looking for the best service and the highest quality window and door products available. We maintain relationships with a wide variety of reliable Muskoka contractors and builders, working alongside the very best the region has to offer to make your dreams come true. To find out more about everything the team at Muskoka Window & Door Centre can do for you, get in touch with us today.