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A few weeks ago we were watching the local news about a contractor in Virginia who contracted with a number of homeowners. Instead of a nicely designed and landscaped backyard they ended up with a mudbath and a lot of money out the window. He is being sued by many of them, but who wants to go through all that hassle? 
This story gave us the ida of putting together something for you to help in the process of finding the right contractor for your home improvement projects.
The economic downfall had one benefit for the remodeling industry: many companies who were not reputable or did their business illegaly did not survive. The best way to confirm you are hiring a respectable contractor is to cross your 'T's' & dot your 'I's' before signing on the dotted line.....
Below is a checklist we have created for you: 
  • Licensed - Make sure your contractor is licensed. Having a revoked license is your #1 Red Flag. However, when a license is revoked the contractor can still have a paper copy of an expired license. You can verify licenses with your state's Department of Professional Occupational Regulations.
  • Check References - Make sure to ask your potential contractor for a few of his/her most recent jobs performed.  Call customers to verify experience with said contractor. Everyone has a few happy customers who will serve as reference. If you check with the most recent customers of the contractor you will have a more realistic picture of the quality of their work and their business conduct.

  • Liability Insurance - Make sure your contractor is insured. Depending on you project you may wish to check on the cap on the insurance for each occurance.
  • Workmans Compensation - If the contractor has workman's comp, this means that it protects YOU the customer from being sued if something happens to the worker on site.

  • Deposits - If the Contractor requires a deposit, find out where that deposit will be applied. What will it cover? Materials? Labor? Etc. Make sure there is a clear understanding on payment schedule. Best if this is part of the contract.

  • No Day Laborers - To qualify a reputable staff, make sure the contractor offers workman that have been not only screened, but trained and with the company for a significant amount of time.

  • Lead on Site - Make sure you know the contact person who will be checking on the job from time to time. Although not necessary, it is nice to have the person you contracted with to be available to your questions, too.
In closing, as always, the best way to hire a contractor is from referral. Through family, friends, co-workers and word of mouth.
We hope these tips help guide you in the right direction!
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Alex Painting LLC • 207 Winter Frost Court • Sterling, VA 20165
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