These are only as good as you call them to verify. This is one of your best ways
to determine the quality of a contractor. Realize that even a poor quality contractor
can give you a couple of jobs where the customer is happy. The way to circumvent
this is to ask the contractor for his last five jobs including customer name, work
performed, and dates. All contractors are working somewhere, so if there are large
gaps of time between customers, there probably are problem jobs. For a contractor
to have a day or two gap just means there may be inclement weather, preparation for
a job, or they just are waiting for another job. Most quality contractors have few
to no gaps; they are busy.
Questions to ask referrals
1. Did the contractor show up when he said he would?
2. Did the contractor do what he said he would?
3. Did the contractor try to go up on his price after he started the job? There
are times when the work is changed and the price change is justified.
4. Did the contractor have any excuses for not doing the complete job because of
problems on the job site? There are jobs where problems can only be discovered after
starting the work. (I.e. Rotten decking under the roof)