Be sure they are licensed, bonded and insured. You can check Oregon contractors out at https://www.oregon.gov/ccb. From here you can enter the contractors name to see if they have any complaints and the status of those complaints. If you decide to work with someone who is not licensed and insured properly then you will have no recourse financially (they could take your money and walk off the job) and you are taking on the liability should someone get hurt. The little bit of costs savings are not worth the risks. It’s important for you to do your due diligence and hire someone with confidence.
Speaking of due diligence; get a few quotes. Who gave you a professional proposal? Who did you feel comfortable with? Would you have coffee with them? What do their references say? Be wary of quotes that come in way below the others, this a huge red flag that they are cutting corners somewhere. This may take time but this is your home ~ your biggest investment.
Think beyond price. Yes, price is a factor. However, it is important that you have good communication with the contractor and that everyone is on the same page with the project. We have heard all too many stories from homeowners who did get what they bargained for.
Every project should have a contract regardless of the size. In the State of Oregon the law says that a contract is required for projects over $2,000.00. However, in order to protect yourself, you should require a contract for all jobs that include a timetable, list of materials to be used, brands of materials and payment schedule.
The last thing to consider is the payment structure. We at Cascadia Exteriors ask for one-third upfront to schedule the job. The reasons for this is; it allows us to pay for the materials as well as having a “buy-in” from you. Then for jobs that will take less than 2 weeks to complete, we ask for the remaining balance to be paid at completion (after the punch list is complete). For jobs that will take more than 2 weeks; we ask for one-third upfront (materials), another third midway during the project (materials/payroll/cash flow) and the last third upon completion of the punch list. Be wary of contractors asking for more than a third down payment.