Here are a few items that may be helpful to you in your search for a qualified remodeling company. While this is not meant to be a complete check list, these items are important to think about. A qualified company generally should pass muster on all of these issues, and not just a few. Just click the questions for some answers. We hope they are helpful.

Are they properly licensed and insured?

Making sure that the company you hire has the proper licensing and insurances will help to protect you from many unpleasantries. Proper insurance and worker compensation can protect you from the liability in case of an injury.

Have they been in business for a good length of time?

Studies have shown that most businesses fail within 7 years. If you want a stable company who will be there to stand behind their warranties, try to seek out a company that has some longevity being in business. Like any endeavor, the more exposure and time spent, the more experience you will gain. Hiring a business that has been around a while will help ensure that your project will be handled professionally.

Do they have a showroom or business establishment?

Having a showroom or offices, shows that the company is at least a going concern. Many well meaning contractors are here one day and gone the next. They disappear not necessarily due to bad work but generally because they are "one man" shows and any personal issues sometimes lead to them having to stop working. It is best to deal with a larger firm that will be there for you in the long term.

Do they do your type of job?

There are many companies that you may be considering who have passed the initial checking phase. Now it is time to make sure they do and have done the type of project you are considering. I am sure you would agree, that even though "Bob Siding and Roofing Company" has been in business for 15 years and has an excellent record, I don't believe he would be the proper choice to have remodel your bath. Make sure the company you hire specializes in what your particular remodel entails.

Awards, Affiliations, and Associations

Companies that have third party credentials, such as awards, certifications, training, trade associations, etc. tend to be more professional and knowledgeable in their businesses. This in turn will help you get the most from your renovations.

Did you check their record?

Simple inquiries with Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau will help you to see the official track record of the companies you are considering. Independent "referral sites" are well known in the industry to be "loaded" with false praise and/or complaint listings, so be somewhat leery using them as a legitimate source. We even know of one particular company that offers to pay their customers $100 for a "good review" on these sites and has created over 50 screen names to upload their own reviews! The reverse is also true, we have seen companies post negative feedback and false reviews about their competition as well.

Did you visit some of their jobs? Talk to previous clients?

This is sometimes helpful to see some of their workmanship and how they take care of their clients. However, you should not let this enter heavily into your decision making. Even the worst companies, have a few neighbors, cousins, etc. whom they have done at least a couple of good jobs for. This does not make a track record that shows their work. One of the most common complaints we hear from our clients, is that "the company that did our previous work before we hired you did such a bad job. I used them because they did such a nice job for my neighbor". They never considered that factors such as changing crews, new owners, key employees leaving or retiring, all play a roll in who you hire and when.

Is the company size important?

Generally speaking, the company size will provide you with some knowledge about the company and how things will be handled on your project. It is a sometimes personal choice on whom you feel comfortable dealing with.
Larger companies will generally have larger showrooms, more overhead, and more managers, sales associates etc. to deal with. They will generally be more expensive, but will typically provide a proper job with a piece of mind assurance of a large firm backing up their promises.
A mid size company will generally have a smaller showroom, less over head, and most likely provide a more personal approach to your project. They will be priced slightly less than larger companies, but can also give you the assurance of knowing they will be around to handle your needs, now and in the future.
Small "one man" companies, may or may not have a showroom, will generally have the lowest overhead and be the least expensive. However, dealing with these types of firms can be frustrating, as it is only 1 or 2 people handling the whole business and are frequently being pulled in all directions, personally and professionally. These types of companies are generally a higher risk and probably make up most of our industry. It is best to properly research them thoroughly before investing your money with them.
We believe the mid size firms will offer you the best overall value and experience when remodeling your home. They are generally well suited to provide good personal service and oversee your specific needs diligently.

How about your gut feeling?

This is certainly important. The company you choose, will be in your home and around your family for the duration of your project. You certainly do not want to hire anyone with whom you have a doubt. We have seen many homeowners get so caught up on a lower price they got from company "x", that they totally disregard the fact that the person who showed up was two hours late, missed 3 previous appointments, and was driving a 25 year old truck that is about to fail. Needless to say, that company is most likely not going to be professional and reliable, whatever the price.

Compare estimates from similar companies.

While getting estimates, it easy to get overwhelmed by the difference in quotes you may get. This is usually due to the fact that you are not aware and have not researched enough to realize that you are comparing different type companies. For example, you cannot compare the price given from "Bob Siding and Roofing" who works form his home and has been in business for 5 years to "Megahuge Siding and Roofing" who has a large showroom, several employees, and has been established for 25 years. It would be unfair to expect "Megahuge" to compete equally with "Bob". This is not to say you shouldn't hire "Bob", but you must first choose your own comfort level with the type of company you would consider hiring. Once you compare "equal type" companies you will find the price differences diminish greatly.
While making your decision, there is an old saying that you might want to heed ... "If you are going to take a risk with a "one man show" than it is wise to put some money aside for that risk. However, if you can afford to put the money aside, why not just hire a qualified company in the first place and avoid the risk entirely"
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If your home was built before 1978, you should also be aware of the new law requiring that your remodel be handled by an EPA Lead Certified Firm or they may face heavy fines up to $37,000.
Click below to learn more.

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