There are stories everywhere about contractors who did less than satisfactory work, left jobs unfinished, and took forever to complete jobs. They have given contractors a bad rap and it is unfortunate that many people fear the stereotypes are true of all contractors. The fact is, many homeowners and commercial builders just didn't do the right amount of research when finding their contractor.

Most of us have never needed a remodeling, building or general contractor, and when we are suddenly faced with having to choose one to break down and build up our homes we miss crucial steps in the researching process. To avoid having any construction horror stories of your own, you must follow these fundamental tips.

Top 5 Tips For Finding The Best Contractor

Never research and contact only one contractor. In my local city, there are many Phoenix contractors and this is to the benefit of homeowners. You must contact many different contractors for your specific job and then choose the best one for you. Many homeowners feel that they just do not have time to do this, but it is a must if you do not want to pick the wrong contractor.

Verify that the contractors you research are state certified. There are many certifications that contractors can have. If you want patio fire pits on your back deck, then you need to find a contractor who is certified to build and to run gas lines, and so on. You should ask to see their license, make sure it is current, and make sure it is held within your state. You can even access ROC lists from your state that list certified contractors.

The contractor must be insured. Phoenix contractors sometimes sustain injuries and occasionally unexpected damages occur, so you must ensure that the contractor you hire is insured. You should also ask to see their insurance certificate and verify that it too is current.

See samples of work from all the contractors. The samples should be ones that are similar to the work you want to have done. If you want an extensive tiling project done or a large kitchen remodel, then check out samples of their work that include these types of jobs. This is important because just asking is not enough--some contractors will tell you that they have worked on similar projects simply because they want your business.

Ask for references. The contractor should not be hesitant in giving you references. This will give you an idea of how trustworthy the contractor is and it will allow you to see if the contractor's former clients were satisfied with the quality of work.

These steps are a MUST when searching for a contractor. Being able to compare and pick and choose will increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and his or her work. You must also ask for estimates and detailed proposals from all the contractors. It should outline material costs and project length. This will also help you see who might be a less worthy candidate. But remember that a higher price doesn't mean the contractor is trying to rip you off. If you see a big difference is price estimates, bring it up to the contractors and have them explain to you why their price might be much higher or much lower than their competitors' prices.