Home Ownership

How to vet a contractor for home improvement projects

Follow these steps to ensure you hire a high-quality contractor for your project

man in a high-visibility vest and a woman are discussing blueprints on a table in an office.

Published on

May 3, 2024


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Hiring a contractor to perform home improvements is a delicate decision. There are no guarantees the project will go well, so it’s very important that homeowners do their due diligence before hiring. Luckily in Connecticut, there are many resources at the public’s disposal for vetting contractors. 

Follow these steps to ensure that you find a skillful and knowledgeable worker who gets the job done efficiently and effectively. 

Verify Credentials and Licenses

Before hiring a contractor, it's crucial to verify their credentials and licenses. In Connecticut, contractors must be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and hold the necessary licenses for their trade. Request proof of licensure and certifications relevant to the scope of work you require.

Connecticut homeowners can verify a professional license through the state’s website

Additionally, ensure the contractor carries liability insurance and workers' compensation coverage to protect your interests in case of accidents or damages during the project.

Check References and Reviews

One of the most reliable ways to assess a contractor's reputation is by checking references and online reviews. 

Ask the contractor for a list of past clients and contact them to inquire about their experience working with the contractor. Alternatively, explore online review platforms, such as Google, Yelp, or Angie's List, to read feedback from previous customers. 

Pay attention to recurring themes or patterns in reviews, both positive and negative, to gain insights into the contractor's professionalism, communication, and workmanship.

Review Past Work and Portfolios

A reputable contractor should be proud to showcase their past work and portfolio. Ask to see examples of completed projects similar in scope to yours, whether it's kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, or home additions. Reviewing past work allows you to assess the quality of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and design aesthetics. Additionally, inquire about any ongoing projects the contractor is currently working on to gauge their workload and availability.

Obtain Multiple Quotes and Estimates

Don't settle for the first contractor you come across. Instead, obtain multiple quotes and estimates from different contractors to compare prices, services, and timelines.

Be wary of significantly low bids, as they may indicate subpar materials or workmanship. A reputable contractor will provide a detailed breakdown of costs, timelines, and project specifications in writing, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your budget and needs.

Communicate Clearly and Establish Expectations

Effective communication is essential for a successful contractor-client relationship. Prior to hiring a contractor, clearly articulate your expectations, preferences, and project goals. Discuss timelines, milestones, and any specific requirements or concerns you may have. A reliable contractor will listen attentively, address your questions, and provide transparent updates throughout the project.


Vetting a contractor is a critical step in ensuring a smooth and successful home improvement project. By following these essential tips, Connecticut homeowners can make informed decisions when selecting a contractor and feel confident in the quality and integrity of their work.

About the author

Pederson Real Estate Law

Pederson Real Estate Law is a boutique law firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. We provide experienced, efficient legal services for clients in residential real estate closings —purchases, sales, and refinances.