The questions you ask a contractor can make all the difference.
Homeowner Gordon Welt did a lot of work before his deck project ever began.
He met with five potential contractors face-to-face and prepared a list of questions.
Angie Hicks, creator of website, Angie's List, says "You want to use open-ended questions because you'll learn a lot more about how they'll handle situations."
Welt says the contractor he ended up picking "was very, very knowledgeable during the estimate and some of the ideas he was coming up with he was able to do the math calculations there. He didn't have to go back to a computer. Also, some of the terms he was using were very easily conveyed to me as a customer and being able to get our ideas on paper before he even left to do the estimate."
Before choosing the contractor, make sure you have a good rapport with the possible contractors then have them submit bids.
Welt advises, "It's just like your car and everything else, it's an investment. Be involved and speak up during the whole process and that's the only way you can get a good product at the end."
There's a lot riding on any home improvement project, including time and money so it's good to treat hiring like building a relationship and not just carrying out a transaction.