It is not entirely fair, but contractors have a reputation that is less than stellar. Almost everyone has lived a nightmare of a contracting job that has been over budget, past deadlines and full of frustration. While it is a minority that give the rest a bad name, making sure you cover your bases when selecting a contractor is critical to having a rewarding experience. Here is what to look for in your remodeling contractor in Washington, DC.
Proper Licenses and Certifications
Depending on what you need to be done, a contractor will have to have at least one of several possible licenses. In some cases, like being certified in a flooring technique, it just makes sense. In others, like with electrical work, the District government requires that the contractor be licensed and certified. Make sure before you sign any work agreement that you verify that the people you are using are properly licensed and certified.
Proper and Adequate Insurance
Proof of insurance liability coverage is mandatory in almost every contracting profession. This protects the contractor and, obviously, the customer. Too often, though, a contractor will fudge on the coverage they have to save time and money. In other cases, they will pay for the insurance in part to get the proof of insurance paperwork but stop once they have that paperwork. Either case can leave you high and dry if you have to press a liability claim.
Make sure your remodeling contractors in Washington, DC are sufficiently insured and up to date in their coverage.
Check References and Complaints
Any remodeling contractor in Washington, DC with a good reputation will be able to give you references without hesitation and certainly within 24 hours of you asking. If they cannot, or refuse to give you references, there is something wrong. It might be they never had to do that before and have not gotten permission from customers to use them as references, but if that is true, they should be able to remedy the situation pretty quickly.
Complaints are a bit different and will require you checking online sources like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other contracting review sites to get a sense of what complaints exist if any. If they have a listing with the BBB, it means a customer was really upset and felt they had a provable case; the other sites are less trustworthy, but you should follow up with the contractor, particularly if there are a number of complaints lodged against them.
Those are the basics in terms of making sure you get the best possible remodeling contractor in Washington, DC. While not foolproof, requiring each item on this list will weed out almost all the pretenders.