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Find the Best Home Improvement and Repair Contractors

Deciding who handles your home improvement, remodeling or repair project is an important decision. Use our guide to research the best home improvement contractor for you, whether you need a contractor to manage the project from start to finish or a simple appliance repair from a licensed professional.

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by Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

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Compare Top Home Improvement and Repair Contractors

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HomeAdvisor
Read 21,392 Reviews

Helps homeowners find reliable home repair or improvement services. Screens all listed contractors to ensure legitimacy and customer safety. Does not charge for services. Offers instant online booking.

Get a Quote Call Now Toll Free (866) 782-4077
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Home Makeover Systems
Read 358 Reviews

Offers water softeners and conditioners. Its saltless softener water system is non-electric and applies downflow and double backwash methods. Uses diagnostics for consistent water quality and comes with lifetime warranty.

Get Started Call Now Toll Free (407) 602-0164
Power Home Remodeling
Read 950 Reviews

Since 1992, Power Home Remodeling Group has been at the forefront of energy-saving home remodels. Using the latest in home efficiency technology, Power Home delivers one-on-one service to help you improve your home.

Porch
Read 776 Reviews

This service matches you with a local home improvement professional. You sign up for a free account, answer a few questions about your project and receive free estimates and contact information for any project you have.

Merry Maids
Read 1,208 Reviews

Founded in 1979, Merry Maids is a franchised company now owned by ServiceMaster. It offers house and apartment cleaning services across a network of over 1,000 worldwide locations.

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Four Seasons Sunrooms & Windows
Read 848 Reviews

Manufactures and installs sunrooms and other modular additions, windows, doors and decking. Nationwide company with locally-operated dealers. Lifetime warranty on many products. Participating dealers offer financing.

Thumbtack
Read 600 Reviews

Thumbtack was established in 2009. It connects customers with qualified, local professionals who offer a wide range of services from home contractors to dog trainers.

Roto-Rooter
Read 669 Reviews

Founded in 1935, Roto-Rooter is the largest provider of plumbing and drain-cleaning services in the United States. It operates around 100 company-owned branches and approximately 500 franchises across North America.

Granite Transformations
Read 1,429 Reviews

Granite Transformations is a global, full-service home and business remodeling company. It has production facilities in the United States and over 50 countries.

Home Depot Windows & Doors
Read 439 Reviews

Home Depot manufactures and installs windows and doors for customers. The company offers a huge selection of doors, including front, pet, security, patio and interior. They also offer basement, single hung and glass block windows.

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    What to consider when choosing a contractor

    How big is your project?

    The type of home improvement contractor you need will depend on the size and scope of your project. Larger jobs may require multiple contractors to complete all aspects of the work, whereas smaller jobs might only require one specialty contractor you can easily manage yourself.

    • Large scale: Large scale projects include major home or business renovations or remodeling. They typically last for months at a time and involve hiring a general contractor to manage multiple subcontractors.
    • Small scale: Small scale projects usually involve one or two specialty contractors working on a specific repair or remodel. Projects like bathroom remodels might only need a plumber and a tile layer to complete. Smaller projects usually last anywhere from one week to a month.
    • Handy work: Any minor repairs or quick renovation projects, including fixing plumbing issues or painting the exterior of your house, might only require you to hire a freelance or independent contractor.

    How credible is your contractor?

    A contractor’s credibility should play a significant role when you’re hiring someone for a project.

    • Licensing: Licensing is among the most important things to consider when choosing a contractor. To avoid any financial risk, make sure a contractor is properly licensed in the state where they’re working. Specialty contractors should be licensed for their area of expertise, and general contractors should be “B” licensed, meaning they can either perform all types of work needed for one job or hire subcontractors to do specialty work.
    • Verification: As a homeowner, you should always ask for a copy of each contractor’s license to verify they are compliant within the state they are working. Ask for references and find out if the contractor is insured in case an accident happens on the job site.

    How reputable is your contractor?

    Carefully review a contractor’s reputation before finalizing a plan and contract. Whether it's through an online contractor locating company or from a company's website, make sure you read reviews and fact check references.

    • Reviews: Reading real customer experiences gives you the most insight into what it’s like to work with a contractor or repair company.
    • References: Ask for 3-5 references from the contractor you are interested in working with. Follow up with each one, asking them how their project went from start to finish and if they had any issues.
    • Established: Look for an established company that has a long list of projects you can check out.

    What should you include in the contract?

    One of the most important things to work out with a contractor is the contract itself. A contract should outline the scope of the work including project due dates, final pricing and how to handle changes and resolve issues. The contract might take some time to finalize, but it will be your reference point throughout the project. Be as detailed and thorough as possible.

    • Payment schedule: The agreed upon contract should be your reference point for how much and when you should pay for completed work. Having payments tied to various due dates within a project ensures the overall job keeps progressing. Try to negotiate a first payment of no more than 10 percent. This ensures the work is being done on schedule without overpaying for only a small portion of the job.
    • Start and end dates: Sometimes a contractor won’t specify a start and end date, so think about putting those in writing before the contract is finalized. Delays will most likely happen no matter what, but a target end date will ensure the job stays as close to the agreed upon due date as possible.
    • Arbitration options: A lot of construction and remodeling contracts have a section stating who will settle disputes, should they arise. You should both agree on a well-respected national arbitrator like the American Arbitration Association.

    What should be communicated up front?

    Communication with your contractor is key during your entire project. Make sure you know the best way to keep in contact by asking if they prefer daily emails, cloud-based calendars or phone calls. Set up weekly check-ins, and walk through your home improvement or renovation project in person to see progress and discuss challenges.

    • Change orders: Expect changes to happen during the life of any project. Make sure any change orders are communicated with you first before they are added to the contract.
    • Decisions: Have your contractor give you a list of decisions you will need to make throughout the project. Know your deadlines and keep a list of materials you will need ahead of time to keep the project moving with minimal interruption.
    • Insurance: Contractors should carry at least a minimum liability policy. If they don’t have any workers compensation in place and something happens on the job, you might be liable.
    • Emergencies: Make sure your contractor will be available in case of an emergency. This includes being available after hours should something major come up, like a water or gas leak.

    What types of contractors are available for hire?

    General contractor

    Depending on how big your renovation project is, you might consider hiring a general contractor to manage the construction site. General contractors will manage all vendors and subcontractors throughout the entirety of a project.

    Specialty contractors

    If you have a small-scale project that requires one service, such as plumbing or electrical work, consider a specialty contractor. Specialty contractors have a license to perform repairs and installations in a specific field.

    Appliance repair contractors

    Just like there are specialty contractors that can handle specific home systems, there are technicians who specialize in major appliance repair. If you need your refrigerator, oven, range, washer, dryer or dishwasher fixed, an appliance repair service can send a contractor out to diagnose, repair or remove and install appliances.

    Independent/freelance contractor

    Independent contractors can enter into a contract to perform services but are not legally considered employees. They work for a specified period of time stated in the contract and are usually paid hourly.

    Design/architect contractor

    Designers and architects can be contracted to design homes, additions and renovations that involve structural changes. In some cases, you can find a design/build contractor who does both.

    Hiring a contractor for a repair or small job

    There are many home repair jobs that can be done quickly without a general contractor. Often, a handyman can take care of odd jobs around the house, but when it comes to dealing with your home’s systems and appliances, finding a contractor or licensed repair technician to complete the job is usually the safest choice. 

    • Home system repair: Ensuring your home’s systems are in proper working condition is critical to the livability and safety of your home. You can hire licensed contractors to repair or replace the heating, air conditioning, plumbing or electrical work in your home. Technicians are often licensed in one specialty, though you can find home service companies that handle more than one system.
    • Home appliance repair: Hiring a specialty technician is popular for appliance repair. The lifespan of most major appliances is around 10 years, so it’s likely you’ll need to have a contractor or technician visit your home at some point to repair or replace your refrigerator, stove, washer or dryer. Unless you’re remodeling your kitchen, it’s unlikely you’ll need to hire a general contractor repair or replace an appliance. These jobs are typically straightforward and take only a few hours to complete.

    Home repair cost

    The cost of a home repair job varies significantly based on the nature of the problem. For example, the average cost to repair a refrigerator is around $300, while a project like installing central air conditioning often costs $3,000 or more.

    Appliance installation costs usually run between $100 and $200, though you can often find deals for free installation when you buy a new appliance.

    If you own your home, a home warranty helps offset the cost of major home repairs.

    Home improvement contractors FAQ

    Are contractor estimates free?
    Sometimes. Many contractors offer free estimates, but every company has a different policy. Make sure to verify whether an estimate is free before you schedule one. Be aware that some contractors differentiate between an estimate, a consultation and a diagnosis.
    How do I find a contractor to remodel my house?
    Before you choose a contractor, you need to have a solid idea of the work you want to have done. Different contractors have different specialties, like bathrooms or sunrooms, so you need to pick one that has experience in the right area.

    From there, gather information on possible contractors by:

    • Asking friends, family and neighbors for recommendations
    • Looking at online reviews
    • Checking contractors’ websites for pictures of past work
    • Verifying licenses
    • Getting estimates
    • Researching additional fees, such as for permits
    • Asking for an estimated start date and timeline of project completion
    How much does it cost to hire a contractor?
    General contractors usually cost anywhere from $300 to $500 per day, depending on:
    • Their skill set
    • The scope of the work
    • Where you live
    • The season
    • How the contractor structures fees
    How do I know if a contractor is reliable?
    Gather as much information as you can to make sure the contractor you choose is reliable.
    • Verify the contractor’s licenses and insurance.
    • Check to see if the contractor has complaints or legal cases on file.
    • Make sure the estimate isn’t too low or too high.
    • Confirm the contractor assists with permits.
    • Ask for several client references and contact them.
    • Find out if the contractor belongs to any professional industry groups.
    How much can a contractor ask for upfront?
    Generally, contractors ask for 10% to 15% upfront, though this sometimes goes up if you are ordering customized, nonrefundable materials.

    If a contractor asks for substantial money upfront and you aren’t ordering custom-made materials, it may be a red flag. Getting multiple estimates is a good way to figure out if an upfront deposit is a reasonable request for a job.

    Can a homeowner be their own general contractor?
    Yes, they can. Doing so can save money and give the homeowner more control, but it’s difficult and stressful for those who don’t have the experience and time to do it well. Always check state and local laws before starting an improvement project on your own.
    Is there a difference between a contractor and a general contractor?
    A contractor is usually the person physically doing the work, while the general contractor operates as a project manager. A general contractor usually sets schedules and orders and accepts materials. They are often the point of contact for the property owner.
    What happens if a contractor doesn't finish the job?
    If you’re dealing with incomplete work by a contractor, consider hiring an attorney. It may be appropriate to take these steps:
    1. Talk to the contractor and communicate your complaints clearly. If you’re unable to reach them, document all attempts at communication.
    2. Document the incomplete work or hire another contractor to assess the work.
    3. Fire the contractor.
    4. File a bond claim to see if you can recover your money.
    5. Report your original contractor to your state and city.
    6. Consider further legal action.
    Should I repair or replace my appliances?
    When choosing whether to repair a broken appliance or buy a new one, it’s smart to do a cost analysis. Shop around and see if you can get a free quote for fixing your appliance from a local contractor. Many major appliances can cost upward of a few thousand dollars, it’s often worth it to have a contractor come out and attempt to fix the appliance if it’s a simple repair.

    Home improvement contractor reviews

    Porch

    This service is an online marketplace that connects homeowners to professionals in home repair, maintenance and improvement. After you answer a few questions about your current project, this service will determine which professionals in the database match your needs and price.

    Read 776 Reviews
    Remodel Works

    Remodel Works Bath & Kitchen offers comprehensive remodeling services from design through construction and clean-up. As member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, Remodel Works has served more than 8,000 satisfied customers in the San Diego area. Remodel Works helps homeowners plan and execute residential renovations, room additions, bathroom remodels and custom closets and garages.

    • Expert design: Remodel Works has experienced designers on staff to assist with all kitchen and bath renovations and other residential remodeling projects.
    • Customized storage: Designers can create custom storage solutions for closets and garages, helping clients maximize available space.
    • Established track record: With thirty years of industry experience, Remodel Works is an established company with valuable industry partnerships and thousands of local customers.
    • Guaranteed satisfaction: In addition to a five-year workmanship warranty, Remodel Works also offers a No Grey Area Guarantee that includes final client approval and a price guarantee to work within the customer's provided budget.
    Marble Warehouse

    Marble Warehouse is a stone, mosaic, slab, and tile company that offers deep discounts on home improvement materials and supplies for maintaining decorative hard surfaces. They can help homeowners, builders and interior designers determine which product will work best for a particular project and how much will be needed. Some of the large items that they sell, such as stone and quartz slabs, are only available for local pickup.

    • Accredited: The Marble Warehouse is an accredited member of the Marble Institute of America, an industry trade group that sets high standards for ethical and professional behavior.
    • Stone slab and tile: They offer marble, granite, Travertine tile and onyx stone slab in an eclectic collection of sizes, styles, colors and textures.
    • Porcelain tile: Also available is porcelain tile, which typically creates a shiny effect when installed, in numerous colors and shades to match almost any interior decor scheme.
    • Quartz slab: The company sells four types of quartz slabs, including Polarstone, Silestone, Viatera and ColorQuartz.
    • Payment options: Marble Warehouse accepts many payment methods, including PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
    Power Home Remodeling

    Founded in 1992, Power Home Remodeling is a home remodeling company dedicated to energy efficiency and cost-saving renovations. They focus on using innovative technology and providing specialized help throughout the entire remodeling process to make sure you get the service and home you want.

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    Compare Top Home Improvement and Repair Contractors

    ServPro
    Read 325 Reviews

    ServPro provides water, fire and storm damage solutions as well as mold remediation and commercial services. It is family-owned and has had the same ownership for over 40 years.

    Kitchen Magic
    Read 48 Reviews

    Kitchen Magic is a remodeling company that serves homeowners in the northeastern United States. Offering a free in-home consultation, Kitchen Magic does cabinet refacing, cabinet installation and luxury countertop installation.

    Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing
    Read 1,714 Reviews

    Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing has been providing basement waterproofing services for over 50 years. They have completed over 15,000 jobs including waterproofing, foundation repair and water damage repair.

    Home Depot Kitchens
    Read 400 Reviews

    Home Depot was founded in 1978 and is the world’s largest home improvement retailer. It offers top brands in kitchen interior remodeling, expert designers and licensed installers.

    Custom Remodelers
    Read 45 Reviews

    Headquartered in Lino Lakes, Minnesota, Custom Remodelers Inc. services Minnesota, West Wisconsin and the Twin Cities Metro with exterior and interior remodeling. Its services include siding, roofing, gutters, doors and windows.

    Vulcan Basement Waterproofing
    Read 15 Reviews

    Vulcan Basement Waterproofing is the nation's oldest basement waterproofing company. It offers residential and commercial waterproofing and flooring and has produced over 500,000 installations in the past 60 years.

    Basement Systems
    Read 135 Reviews

    Basement Systems was formed in 1986 and is headquartered in Seymour, Connecticut. It provides consumers with renovation solutions for turning basements into additional living spaces.

    Lemus Construction
    Read 55 Reviews

    Lemus Construction has been providing consumers with roofing and exterior renovations solutions for residential or commercial properties for over 20 years. It is a family-owned company that services the Greater Philadelphia area.

    Basement Doctor Read Reviews

    The Basement Doctor was established in 1987. Based in Columbus, Ohio, it services and extended surrounding area with basement finishing services, waterproofing, foundation repair, mold prevention and insulation services.

    Build.com Read Reviews

    Home improvement and remodeling product online store. 24/7 customer support. Free shipping with delivery in as little as two days. App includes in-home preview features. Special offers and pricing for professionals.

    Shop Now
    Handy Read Reviews

    Online marketplace for professional cleaning and handyman work. Easy-to-use online platform. Variety of specialized services available

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    Alure Home Improvements Read Author Review

    Alure Home Improvements was established in 1946 and is headquartered in East Meadow, New York. It is a full-service home remodeling company offering custom designs and features to meet any home remodeling need.

    Marble Warehouse Read Author Review

    Marble Warehouse has been an importer of natural stone from around the world for over 25 years. Based in California, it provides consumers with decorative stone, stone care products, stone slab, quartz slab and porcelain tile.

    Remodel Works Read Author Review

    Based in San Diego, Remodel Works has been remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for over 30 years. It has completed over 7,500 remodeling projects since it began and offers a five-year workmanship warranty on all its work.

    by Jonathan Trout ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Jonathan Trout believes having access to free, comprehensive information on products and businesses is vital to making smart purchasing decisions. He focuses his efforts on researching and reviewing multiple brands across a variety of industries, with the goal of writing unbiased buyers guides to help inform consumers on impending purchases.