Like any American business, home renovations have become a competitive field, and a quick Google search for a Virginia building contractor will yield a thousand results. So many choices can overwhelm anyone, and stylish websites full of promises have the ability to sway even the most perceptive of clients. Experience, years in the field, and photographs of past renovations all work as strong selling points, but there are a few factors any homeowner should look for when hiring a contractor.
1. Past Clients. Pictures of great renovations are convincing, but it’s really customer satisfaction that makes work successful. Any contractor should be willing to supply dozens of references to contact, and their perspectives should more accurately reveal the quality of a contractor’s efforts.
2. Certifications. Licenses are relatively easy to obtain; any part-time father and son team can claim the title “contractors,” but contractors who really value their work will devote their livelihood to it, and part of that commitment can be seen through certifications. From zoning to remodeling for the elderly, numerous specific certifications can reveal a contractor’s expertise. Criner Remodeling has many of them, including the title of a Class-A Licensed Contractor—the most difficult and estimable to obtain. Other designations that Criner Remodeling has obtained include: Certified Graduate Remodelor, Graduate Master Remodeler, Certified Graduate Builder, Certified Green Professional, EPA Lead-Safe Certified, and Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist.
3. Free Consultation. With so many potential clients, no contractors can offer free estimates for a job, but they should provide free consultations. People deserve to know whom they’re hiring without having to make a financial commitment first. A consultation won’t give them floor plans or a financial estimate, but it will provide a broad overview of the kind of person who will be remodeling their home.
4. Size of the Team. Schedules are perhaps the biggest concern for anyone, and horror stories circulate of half-finished kitchens that a contractor just couldn’t complete. Accidents and setbacks will happen from time to time, so people should look for contracting firms large enough to finish jobs if one worker falls under the weather.
5. Provisions before Work Begins. Every legitimate contractor will offer some plans and drawings during the initial estimates, but customers should expect an incredibly detailed proposal for their renovation project. If every aspect of a project has not been conveyed, it often belies a contractor’s legitimacy. A good contractor will have thought of and drawn out everything—not only for his own efforts but to ensure his vision has catered fully to his client’s.