How do I find a reputable contractor in another state?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 16, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My aunt lives in another state and needs a ramp built so she can get in and out of her house easier. She's got no children so I am her helper, which is fine, but I have no idea where to start looking for reputable contractors. Any ideas for where to start looking and will I need to fly out there since she lives two states away? I just don't want her to be taken advantage of, but I'm not sure I can offer much in the way of help since I normally go through friends for things like this.

Expert Answers

Chris Moore is a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) and the founder and president of Solid Rock Enterprises, Inc. He is a contractor with more than 24 years of experience in residential construction. He specializes in using the principles of universal design to help seniors age in place in their own homes. He writes a monthly column called Housing Matters on the Senior News website.

To find a reputable contractor start by looking for a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) in your aunt's area. These are contractors who have been specially trained to serve the needs of people who want to continue to live at home as they age. They must be licensed and insured and abide by a code of ethics. Many of these contractors are listed here at You can find this list of CAPS contractors at our directory of contractors

You can also find a complete list of CAPS contractors at:

CAPS contractors

Just select CAPS under designation.

Here are some general guidelines when looking for a contractor:

  • Always get everything in writing

  • Ask for references, license, and insurance

  • Ask around. If you have friends who live near your aunt, ask if

they have had experience with local contractors, or know others

who have.

  • Get several estimates if you can. Just be aware that the lowest

price isn't always the best value.