Contractor Hiring Guide

8 responses

  1. James
    December 7, 2016


    Great stuff, as always!

    Could you make your columns easier to print? I often like to print them off and put them in a "Home Improvement" binder for future reference, but the format is currently ungainly and all of the ads print.

  2. Eldred Coot
    December 8, 2016

    Where I lived most "painting contractors" can not read. They have no reserve money. They owe Home Depot and have no credit. None are recognized by Better Business Bureau. All are fly by night. Most have no city licence. They need an advance to buy a brush. The Boondocks are awful. What is one to do?

  3. Charlie
    December 27, 2016

    Hello, need to replace/rebuild stone retaining wall. Not having any luck w/contractors calling me back. Cincinnati, OH

  4. Paul
    January 8, 2017

    When the embedded marketing for an unidentified third party vendor (in this case, home advisor) promises, in your column: "CLICK ANY LINK BELOW TO GET FREE FAST BIDS", it would wise to consider how such a vendor might besmirch the otherwise positive nature of your website. As instructed, I clicked on a job type, answered all questions, and 45 minutes later, the image of a rotating circular icon was still circulating, with no BIDS or suggested contractors, anywhere in sight. I will admit, the experience was, indeed, FREE (and Lord knows I got my money's worth). But...FAST? It is more like USELESS. Please also consider informing your followers that that referral service comes from Home Advisor, and not your organization, as that will more appropriately let us know what to expect. Thank you.

    • Tim Carter
      January 8, 2017


      I'm sorry your computer locked up. It's probably a RAM memory issue. It could also have been an ISP issue or some other blockage in the pipeline.

      The FAST refers to the fact that once you do complete the form at HomeAdvisor you *should* hear from contractors within 24 hours.

      It's very obvious that once you click the links you're at HomeAdvisor. It's impossible for me to identify the final location of every ad you see at my website.

      You get the content at my website for free. The entire operation is supported by ad and affiliate revenue. It's impossible, and unrealistic, for me to investigate every sponsor's ad that appears on the site. You, as a consumer, have to exercise due diligence before investing your money for anything you are connected to from my website.

      That's the bargain you make with me when you cull knowledge, tips and money-saving ideas from You can read all about it here:

  5. Kathy Scully
    January 8, 2017

    I used a contractor from Home Advisor only to get ripped off.
    HA claims they do background checks, BUT ONLY GO BACK 3 YEARS!
    When I checked, he had a criminal (theft) charge 4 years prior.

  6. Tim Carter
    January 8, 2017


    How's this possible? Please share details of what happened. I don't see how it's possible if you followed the advice in the five HACKS above. If it was a workmanship issue and/or he didn't finish the work, you're to blame for that. You're always supposed to hold onto enough money to ensure the job is done correctly. What happened?

  7. wanda lentz
    January 15, 2017

    I really enjoy your emails. So helpful and interesting. I've learned a lot since I subscribed to your newsletter. Your daughter is a sharp girl - suggesting that you go back to your older files. There are many of us that have never read them.

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