The contractor you select can make all the difference
between your project being a dream project, or a nightmare. Protect
your remodeling investment by becoming a savvy consumer when
interviewing contractors. Follow these ten tips
when selecting the right contractor for your project.
Knowing about licensing is an important first
step. Any home improvement or other construction work valued
a valid state license
issued by the Board of Contractors. The three licensing classifications
for contractors are:
Class A Contractors: Unrestricted
in the dollar amount of contracts they complete.
Class B Contractors: May
enter into contracts of value between $ 7,501 and $ 120,000.
Class C Contractors: May
enter into contracts that do not exceed $ 7,500.
Before hiring a contractor, consumers
should observe the following 10 tips:
Hire only licensed contractors. Insist
on a copy of current license.
Confirm valid contractor license at www.dpor.virginia.gov
or call 804.367.8511. The Better Business Bureau is not
a good place to seek information on a company because it
is a for profit enterprise and members pay for their inclusion.
Insist on copies of current insurance policies for both
the general contractor and any subs he will allow on job
Get three references of past work. At least one reference
should be very current.
Get more than one bid for exact same work to include
exact same brands, models, and finishes.
Insist on a written contract and do not sign anything
until you understand the terms. Initial any changes made
to original contract.
Pay 10% down payment or $1,000, whichever amount is
Do not make final payment until you are satisfied with
the job. It is customary to with hold 10% until satisfaction
Do not pay cash.
Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project
(change orders, warranties, etc.).