From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:
There are many motivations for a remodeling project – improving curb appeal, adding new functionality to a room, updating your interior design, etc. Before beginning any construction or remodeling project, homeowners must carefully consider who will work in their home. Find BBB rated remodeling companies near you.
Even before starting work, there are a few special features to consider.
Plan your project from start to finish. Talk to friends or family members who have had remodeling work that you like. Try to find pictures of what you like to show the contractor what you want. If you leave decisions to the contractor, make sure you include budget and material requirements in the contract. Make it clear who is responsible for ordering materials and when they must do so. Remember that delivery and construction times can affect your schedule; Decide what hours workers can be at your home and where to store materials and equipment when they’re not there.
Determine your overall budget. Don’t forget things like eating more than usual if you’re renovating a kitchen, or hotel expenses if you have to move out of your house while the work is done. Expect to have a little extra cash in the budget to cover unexpected expenses, especially if you’re working on an older home. Decide if you need to split the project into phases based on how the budget evolves. If the contractor is arranging financing for the remodeling work, make sure you understand all aspects of the terms, especially if you are taking out a second mortgage on your home or using home equity financing as collateral. In the event of a dispute between you and your contractor, you may want to ask for an arbitration clause in your contract. Get all changes in writing before proceeding with work.
Check preparatory work. When speaking to potential contractors, ask them for examples of work they’ve done that is similar to what you want. Find out if it is possible to contact previous clients and see the work done for them. You should also ask the client if the project was completed on time, if they were satisfied with the work, and if there were any unexpected costs during the project. Ask and verify that the contractor is licensed and required to do the work in your city and state. Be sure to check out hers BBB profile for reviews and licensing information.
Approve architectural plans. If your project requires plans from an architect, make sure you are involved in discussions with them and that you approve all plans before work begins.
research permits. Talk to your remodeler about permits, but also do independent research to find out what’s required. Make sure the rebuilder can get permits before starting work.
Learn more about hiring a reliable and trustworthy contractor.
Check out all of our DIY tips BBB.org/HomeHQ.
Always do business with contractors who adhere to BBB standards of trust. If you own a business, get accredited.
About the BBB serving Central Virginia:
BBB serves central Virginia and serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg and 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The non-profit organization was founded in 1954 to promote responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to inspire customer confidence through self-regulation of business. BBB’s core services include business profiles, dispute resolution, honest advertising, fraud alerts, consumer and business education, and charity verification.