More tips on where to find best contractors

Common advice: Don't rely on real estate agent referrals

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Recently, we offered some suggestions to a reader in Vallejo, Calif., who could only be described as discouraged. She was searching for a contractor to do some work at her home and was unable to get anyone to even look at work she needed done, much less do it. We offered our suggestions and at the end of the column asked readers to weigh in with their suggestions. Be careful what you ask for -- you just might get it. We received dozens of well-thought-out e-mails -- some with suggestions we overlooked and some from contractors with observations about the state of the industry. Today, we'll offer our readers' suggestions. In a future column, we'll relay the reasons why it's so tough to find good people to work on your house. One contractor generally agreed with our assessment of the situation but took issue with the idea of contacting local real estate agents for leads. He recommended contacting the Better Business Bureau. He wrote: "As a contractor, I am pleased to read an ar...