Hiring a contractor is not a simple decision. In fact, there are a few important things to take into consideration before hiring a contractor for any purpose. The good people of The Villages have a few suggestions to anyone who is looking to hire a contractor. Here are five excellent considerations before settling on a contractor for any reason. 1. Get referrals – A great contractor will have plenty of happy customers who are more than willing to share their positive experiences with you. There are a few who have worked in The Villages, for example. Ask for a list of references and if the contractor balks, walk away. No; run away. 2. Get bids – Bidding on a job is common in construction and many contractors will happily pitch in a bid for a job. Many will want to see the job in person and get an idea before making an offer. Be sure to get it in writing and have all aspects of the job covered: labor, materials, profit and other related expenses. 3. Phone first, person second – A phone interview is an excellent way to gain information about a particular contractor. Ask about other projects they may be doing concurrently with your work as this will give you a chance to see the work in progress. Ask about a business license, insurance and office location. All of this information is good to have to be on the safe side. 4. Home inspectors – There are few sources of a more unbiased opinion than a home inspector. Since their job deals with contractors on a daily basis, it is a good idea to speak to one. This will save hours of phone calls and digging through the Internet. 5. Handy man or contractor – A handy man can do things like install a dishwasher or a small painting job. If the work will be over $500.00 or require permits, a contractor is necessary. Use these considerations before choosing a contractor. You will appreciate it in the long run.