Helpful Hints When Choosing a Contractor


The state of Rhode Island doesn’t require a contractor to provide any proof of their abilities in order to obtain a RI builder’s license.
The only qualification necessary is proof of insurance in the amount of $500,000. Therefore, it’s impossible to judge a contractor’s knowledge or abilities by licensure alone. Testimonials and recommendations are the only true way to know if a contractor is right for you and for your project.

Make sure your contractor is licensed and look at the number on the licensure card. If the license number is higher, it usually means less experience and less time in business.  J&L‘s license number is 892 with over 40 years of experience.  The minimum amount of insurance a licensed construction company must carry is $500,000. You should request a current copy of the company’s insurance binder.

When you meet with a contractor, make sure you’re as specific as possible about your needs, requirements, and expectations. It is advisable to have your ideas written down in great detail. Materials vary widely in quality and price, so it’s very important to include any details about specific materials you may want to have.

contractorContractors offering the lowest price may not be giving you the best quality materials and experience. The more specific and knowledgeable you are about the products you’re looking for, the more accurate the quotes will be.

The quote/contract should be very specific as to what materials are going to be used and what work the contractors are going to perform for your project. The more detailed the contract, the better it is for both parties. This eliminates any confusion as to what is expected from the contractor and what the client is getting.

J&L Builders’ quotes and contracts are very specific (no matter what size the project) in order to put the client’s mind at ease.  Payments and installments for the project should be a written part of the contract with no more than one-third paid up front.  The only time that a larger down payment will be required is when there is an expensive specialty item that requires a down payment when ordering. Disbursements are made throughout the project. The work that must be completed before receiving the payments is clearly stated in the contract.

A qualified and established contractor will have accounts with supply houses.

We have worked with our subcontractors (some for as many as 40 years) and have outstanding relationships with them. They often don’t require a down payment from us for their services because we have such a good working relationship.

Look at the personal appearance of the contractor, pay attention to their professionalism, and check any references they may have pertaining to the work they are going to perform for you. We hope these tips help guide you through your new project.