HOME REMODELING CONTRACTORS
Here's some helpful tips from your BBB on Home Remodeling Contractors:
The BBB suggests that you solicit at least three bids for the remodeling work that you are planning. Check the companies out with BBB, and make sure the bids are based on the same set of specifications and materials to be used. Make sure to get local customer references from the bidding companies and go and check the work and make sure to ask the homeowners questions about their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the contractor and his work.
In Virginia, general contractors are required by law to be licensed by the State Board for Contractors for any single contract or project over $1,000. License classifications based on the value of the project(s) are as follows:
A Class C license is required for a single contract over $1,000 but less than $7,500, or total value of contracts in a 12 month period is less than $150,000.
A Class B license is required for a single contract of $7,500 but less than $120,00, or total value of contracts in a 12 month period is $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000.
A Class A license is required for a single contract of $120,000 or more, or the total value of all construction and improvements in a 12 month period is $750,000 or more.
Check with the State Board for Contractors to make sure they are properly licensed. Call 804-367-8511 in Virginia. In North Carolina, current laws require a license for a general contractor defined as persons, firms or corporations who enter into contracts for construction projects costing $30,000 or more. Call the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors at 919-571-4183 to check a general contractors license.
Once you have narrowed your search, make sure that your chosen contractor has written liability and workmen's compensation insurance covering employee injuries. Before you sign the contract, it's a good idea to drive by his business address to make sure it's not just an answering service or a vacant lot or building. Always thoroughly read and understand the contract completely before you sign it and never sign a blank or partially blank contract.
A written contract should be easy to read, with any oral promises in writing, with all services spelled out, all materials listed by model number, a starting and completion date, written payment schedule-never make final payment until the work is completed and the job site cleaned up. Typically, payment should be 1/3 down, with payments due at various stages of the work, based on your satisfaction and pass of inspections. Also make sure that your contract has a written warranty for labor and/or materials and make sure that the building permits are in the contractor's name, it's the contractor's job to obtain any necessary permits.