Skip to main content


Sponsored Post: McCabe Enterprises Electrical Contractor is hiring

By Lisa Ace

McCabe Enterprises Electrical Contractor is growing and needs your help. Join the best electrical team at the largest electrical contractor in the county and be a part of something great. We offer a clear career path with opportunities for advancement as foremans, field superintendents or project managers as you learn and grow. Our amazing clients include everything from homeowners, small businesses to large industrial and agricultural organizations. If you are an experienced electrician and a hard worker with a strong growth mindset apply today!

Five tips for choosing the right contractor

By Brittany Baker

When it’s time to spend money on upgrades to your home – new windows, roofing, siding or renovations inside – probably the biggest decision is deciding who is right for the job. Here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction!

Choose a Local Business

Yes, it’s nice to help out business in your hometown or county but let’s face it. Finding a knowledgeable, reliable contractor that you can trust to make changes to your nest shouldn’t be based on doing the local economy a favor, right?

Well, think of it this way – the local guy is the one that drives past your house regularly. Hiring a company from out of the immediate area could be giving them the “out of sight, out of mind” feeling for your house, making it just another job for them.

A local contractor doesn’t want to have to avoid dissatisfied patrons while they’re grocery shopping or going for a walk. He wants you to tell your neighbors (and his neighbors) that he did a job above and beyond your expectations.


When it comes to project work like home renovations, it’s important to ask your potential contractor for references. A reputable contractor will be more than willing to provide you with many references for you to call and ask questions of.

If the contractor has only a few, it is almost like admitting he only has a few satisfied customers, and what does that tell you? Of course the references he has elected to give you will tell you exactly what you want to hear. In some cases, the one or two references could be just a friend, family member or even a bar buddy.

An established contractor will offer a list of projects they’ve done in the past and encourage you to call any name or number on the list.

Deposits and Supplies

As a general rule of thumb, contractors shouldn’t ask for more than 10 percent of the overall project cost as an initial deposit. If someone has to ask for 50 or even 30 percent down, it indicates that he is paying for supplies as the project progresses – not receiving them from a supplier on credit. A typical contract asks for the project balance upon completion.

Unfortunately, many “handyman” contractors get a large portion of project costs up-front and then fail to follow the renovations through to completion. From there, it is up to the homeowner to find recourse against the individual.

Also, if a contractor has to buy his supplies as he goes, it is likely that he may be trying to save money by purchasing the cheapest supplies he can get his hands on. Another method of saving is to use all scraps of materials instead of using larger, seamless pieces.

Established contracting companies turn in their scrap materials for credit with their suppliers – meaning they always use the best pieces for your home instead.


Warranties vary when it comes to what type of changes are being made to your home, but a good contractor will offer guarantees for his work in the form of some kind of warranty.

For example, American Home Remodeling in Batavia offers a lifetime warranty on parts and labor for new windows.

“Once we put a window in your home, we aren’t going to nickel and dime you. If something happens, we’ll come out and fix it for free because we handle top quality products,” said owner Tim Stoddard.

Established contractors are knowledgeable of manufacturers warranties as well, and will consider the best value for each customer such as siding that is guaranteed not to fade or change color.

American Home Remodeling also touts lifetime warranties on roofing shingles through their manufacturer but they also offer a 15 year installation guarantee no-questions-asked.

“If our customers have any issues with their roof in the next 15 years, we’ll come back and fix it no charge,” said Stoddard.

You get what you pay for

Although it’s important to find ways to cut costs in a difficult economy, everyone knows the old truth – you get what you pay for. It is possible to find a happy medium. With an established and trustworthy contractor, an open line of communication can make the budget a priority without having to make unreasonable sacrifices with regards to quality, timeliness of the project, and/or supplies used to upgrade your home.

Authentically Local