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Question DetailsAsked on 5/23/2011

How do I decide which contractors to hire?

What should I ask them other than how much will it cost and how long will the job take? Where do I look other than the yellow pages? What type of contractor should i hire to remove a trash compactor and replace it with a matching cabinet.

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4 Answers


Hi Lola,

My husband is a general contractor in Indianapolis, but I can give some advice I've learned from the master in our house! We have, over the past 2 years, completely gutted and remodeled our house. Kitchens and bathrooms will give you the biggest return, so spend your money wisely.

Re the kitchen: solid countertops are great, just depends on your budget. I see nothing wrong with formica, and some of the patterns now look like granite. Corian is nice, but a bit overrated in my opinion. Some day check out Home Depot/Lowes, etc and browse their countertops for pricing. Re the knife drop, I personally would stay away from that because you are opening yourself up to potential water dmg. Whether you drop the sink or put it on top of the counter, as long as they are caulked/sealed, they both will be fine. Based upon all the home shows, sunken sinks seem to be the rage. Ours is stainless and above and we've never had any problems.

When you hire someone, definitely make sure they show you proof that they are licensed, bonded and insured - my husband shows every potential client that upon the initial inspection. I'd definitely say use Angie's, as well as checking your local BBB.

Best of luck to you in your project!


Answered 9 years ago by persephone16


I greatly appreciate the shared information and recommendations. This gives me more to go on. I like being a wise spender and shopper. Thanks again! :-)

Answered 9 years ago by Lola


Stephanie made some great points Lola and I'd like to add a few observations for you to ponder.

You started your post talking about a couple of minor repairs. After you really start gathering information, suggestions and costs, take a break and re-think the "minor" piece.

You did say the section of counter tops you are dealing with is about 5' but you didn't mention how old the cabinets are. I point that out because:

    if you try to match stock cabinets with some age on them, you might spend money that could be used to update the whole 5';and if you try to piece-in sink work, a counter top and a cabinet replacement, you are liable to spend far more in fixing than you would on a fast replacement with an upgrade to the cabinet quality as well as the counter top;and, yes, I realize I said the same thing two different ways. I really think you want to look at it from different angles.

How do you figure out who to ask? I've long been a proponent of asking friends who have had folks do similar work. You'll not only find they have identified some of the hurdles you need to consider but they will have some cost issues and cost advantages identified for you as well. Wait a minute! Why not ask your friends on Angie's List?

Ask neighbors and folks at work but also log onto Angie's List (looks like you are a member) and search for contractors who list themselves as kitchen and/or bath or plumbers or cabinet shops or all the above. Compare the good, the bad and the valuable from other's experiences and take advantage of what the list is for.

By all means, pop back in here to keep us updated on your progress (you are liable to say something that trips another suggestion or three) and when you finish don't forget to go into Angie's List and write your evaluation.

Good luck with your "little" project.

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


Hey Mike-

Thanks so much for the words of wisdom. I'll be sure to report back. I've actually got a call out to a friend who flips houses she rehabs. I'm sure she'll have some valuable input to provide sinces she's been in the R/E game for close to 6yrs now. Another option that may be a viable one is that my current subdivision is not completely finished. There is still new construction going on in my neighborhood so I'm tempted to approach the GC of the project to ask for a bid and/or recos. But I appreciate your input and will consider the angles you suggested. Good point. And again, thanks!

Lola :o)

Answered 9 years ago by Lola

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