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Repairs, etc.

The Doís and Doníts of Selecting a Contractor

Do Donít
Validate state licensing for the specific trade of Home Improvement Contractor registration.* Assume an individual or company has the appropriate license for the specific trade
Verify appropriate insurance coverage. Hire a contractor who only wants to be paid in cash.
Check references/referrals. Hire a contractor who has no references.
Verify no pending cases or complaints with the Attorney Generalís office, Better Business Bureau, and/or Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR).* Take shortcuts. Find out any needed information regarding a contractor you are considering providing a service.
Decide precisely what you need/want to be done and communicate to the contractor. Neglect to express your priorities, timeframe, budget, needs/tastes, and any detail regarding the job.
Ask questions to possible contractors. Settle for less than satisfactory answers.
Talk to friends, neighbors, and check the BrooklineCAN discussion board about who they used, what they liked, and what they wish they had known. Take contractors at face value. Even well intentioned providers maybe overselling companyís abilities and/or quality.
Obtain estimates from at least 3 contractors. Take the lowest bid automatically.
Consider a background check if you have any questions at all.* Hire someone who solicits door to door.
Obtain a written quote for services discussed which includes the total price of work and start & end date. Hire a contractor who wants to be paid the total sum for the job upfront.
* BrooklineCAN volunteers have completed these steps for contractors listed here. This work was last done in 2014, so it may be out of date now.

For more information please contact HELP staff at 617-730-2752
or visit and
Updated on: 6/21/2011


Support Disclaimer: Inclusion of services on this website does not represent a recommendation from the Brookline Council on Aging, the Brookline Senior Center, or the Brookline Community Aging Network.

Disclaimer: Inclusion of services through this program does not represent a recommendation or guarantee of work performance from the Brookline Council on Aging, the Brookline Senior Center, or the Brookline Community Aging Network. The user of this program therefore agrees to release the above named from any and all liability. The user should make whatever investigation or other resources that they deem necessary or appropriate before hiring or engaging Service Providers.