Homeowners have no shortage of complaints about their contractors. But contractors have feelings, too, and according to this New York Times article, one belligerent homeowner drove the contractor to therapy. It's an often-overlooked issue—that homeowners can drive their contractors crazy with unreasonable, irrational and selfish demands, making them feel like "human punching bag[s]." If you are a contractor who is feeling abused, reading this collection of anecdotes may make you feel just a tiny bit better. And homeowners, please remember, contractors are human beings, too.
Contractor is such a general term. Homeowners see some guy with a truck and a toolbelt and they assume he knows how to do anything and everything that has to do with home repair.
They don't and you don't want them learning on the job and using your house as the laboratory.
Getting references is great but actually seeing the work they did for yourself and talking to the homeowner they did it for is even better. Look at the homes of people you know well and completely trust and ask them who did the work on their homes. They'll be honest with you.
And don't just go by price. Sometimes the lowest price comes with the most damage, the worst headaches and the job never really gets done. If you're that concerned about money, do it yourself or find a handy friend and work something out. But if you want it done, fast, cheap and good then you'll have to pay.
There is a saying about the "fast, cheap and good triangle". You can have any two of the three but never all three. If something is fast and cheap then it probably won't be very good. It can be good and not cost much but it definitely won't be fast.
And if you want it fast and good, then you better be willing to pay for it.