How do I know the contractor is qualified to do the job?
It is almost impossible to check qualifications for a difficult job. A routine job is easily completed by the majority of contractors, but a difficult job is luck of the draw. This is when completion bonds are worth their weight in gold. A smooth talking contractor is the one I would worry about the most. Check references for difficult jobs. Sometimes an engineer can solve difficult jobs, but most people wont want to spend the additional money to hire the engineer. Several years ago, I decided to level a family home. The quoted cost Vs the actual cost was unrealistic in my mind. I am experienced in construction, so I imagined that I would have no problems using labor to level the house. 1 year later, I was happy with the job, but the job took too many hours to complete. I am confident that the job was done correctly, but when I had contractors bid the job, I did not try hard enough to find the right contractor. When I had completed the first half of the job, I found the pricing I originally expected, and experienced smaller contractors. Ultimately the job cost me personal losses beyond the most expensive contractor from the length of time spent completing the job. Had the job been a customer, I would have probably lost even more.