Amy Matthews on how to find a star contractor

Amy Matthews

When it’s time to re-do your kitchen, you likely won’t be hammering in the new cabinets — that’s the contractor’s job.  While Amy Matthews was promoting the launch of HomeAdvisor, a website that matches home owners to home improvement contractors, the licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Sweat Equity” and “Bathroom Renovations” offered tips on how to find the best person for your project.
 
Hire a legitimate contractor
“You have to know they’re licensed and insured,” Matthews says about finding a dependable contractor. “You want to make sure you’re getting someone good from a reliable source.” She suggests using tools like HomeAdvisor’s Pro Finder, which does background checks on all contractors in its database.

Find someone you like
Matthews suggests meeting with two or three contractors. If they’re all pricing the project around the same range, she recommends picking the one you  get along with best.

“There are so many decisions to be made. You’ll be calling them, they’ll be calling you, so you need to have good communication or you’ll be stressed out.”

Communicate your schedule
Touch base regularly with your contractor about any scheduling issues that might arise.
 ”If your contractor can’t start because a product didn’t arrive, they’re going to take that other job,” Matthews says.
 
Put it in writing
Before starting, it’s important to have a written agreement with a contractor for how long the project will take, Matthews advises. “You should never give more than 30 percent up front,” she says. “Thirty percent should be given midway through and the remaining percent upon completion.”

Know what you want
When planning a renovation, know exactly what design you want before hiring a  contractor.
   
“The best thing you can do for yourself is research,” Matthews says. “If you start your project and you’re still designing in your mind, it’s going to cost you a lot more.”

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sep. 3: 'Houdini,' 'Colbert'…

Watch "Homeland" star Mandy Patinkin on "The Colbert Report."

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Style

5 minutes with..Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff on her Spring '15 show.