Hiring a Noob

Everyone has to start somewhere. Most contractors have spent years working in the industry honing their skills and finally becoming a fully fledged contractor with their own operation. Every now and then I find a Noob who has just come out of nowhere. The reality is it isn't that hard to get a contractors license, it is a little harder to get insurance though, you have to know something or the insurer won't cover your butt. I even know a couple of Noob's who quit their "day jobs" because they were unhappy and followed their life long dream of becoming a carpenter, a painter or a full blown home builder. The question is, should you hire them? The appeal of hiring a Noob is that they are eager and usually much cheaper than the established fellows in the market. I say it is the same as every other project and contractor you look at. Do they have the experience and do they have the knowledge to your project right the first time. A fellow who has flown a desk for 20 years may not be the best guy to build your second story deck. But if he has built three decks over the last 5 years for family and friends he might be worth some consideration. I would consider hiring a Noob to build a railing if he had built several fences. I might hire him to build a pergola too but I would not hire him to frame my new house. I would hire a Noob to tile my laundry in the back corner of the house after which I would maybe hire him to tile my entryway if he proved himself. The take away is test them out if you can. The rule is you usually get what you pay for. With a Noob you are receiving a discount for a lot of risk and some inexperience. If the contractor has 6 months of work go and take a look at it, ask some questions and decide whether he can handle your project. Finally you don't want to be the guinea pig. If the contractor has no idea what they're doing and has never done anything like this before do not hire them.
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