Selecting a contractor is one of the most important decisions you will make in your remodeling project. The right one will make your project a smooth and relatively trouble-free process. The wrong one will make you regret you ever wanted to remodel.
Be sure to speak with more than just one contractor. Many of us have friends or relatives that know someone that does contracting work. And while this may be a good place to start, it should not be your only source of information. Below is a list of resources you can use to find reputable professionals. Most professional contractors will visit your home for the initial consultation. This will enable them to see firsthand the area they will be renovating, visualize potential problems and view the general working environment. This will, in-turn, allow for a more accurate initial bid.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions- a professional will be more than happy to answer any you have. Your contractor will be spending many hours working closely with you and your family, and you should feel comfortable with them. The list of questions below should be presented to all potential contractors:
There are three classes of contractors licensed in Virginia- A, B and C, and all are issued a identification number by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). From their website you can verify a contractor’s status, disciplinary actions received and complaints.
Your home should not be someone’s classroom. See the next question…
A competent, qualified contractor should have more than two or three references to provide you. Ask for ten to twenty names, and call three or four.
Banking information should be readily available, as well as their insuring agency.
If a potential contractor is annoyed with your questions before you hire him, it usually is a downhill process afterward.