Steps to Take Before Starting a Home Remodeling Project

When done properly, a remodeling project makes your home more enjoyable and can prove to be a valuable investment. It’s also a relatively expensive undertaking that can quickly go downhill if you choose the wrong company. But how can you tell if one company is any better, any worse, or any different from another?

Before you hire any company to work on your home, make sure you INSIST they adhere to the following five standards. If you do, chances are you’ll have a great experience and get exactly what you want out of your project.

remodeled kitchen in northern Virginia - before and after


  1. Stability: You need to make sure that any contractor you do business with has proven themselves in the past, and will be there if you need them in the future. Don’t just ask the contractor if they are stable; look for tangible proof of longevity and financial stability by asking for the items listed on the next few pages.
  2. Reputation: One way to judge a home improvement or design-build company is to find out what others have to say. A good reputation is earned through years of giving good service, treating people right, doing what you say you’ll do, going the extra mile, respecting your customers and standing behind your warranties.
  3. Professionalism: A good home improvement company doesn’t just do good work – they understand that, when dealing with customers, it’s often the little things that make big differences. You should find a contractor that shows you respect by the way they treat you, the way they look, the way they treat your property, and how they pay attention to details. Check any contractor you’re considering using against these standards of professionalism:
  4. Workmanship: Most importantly, a contractor has to be competent to do the job right the first time. Competence comes from training, experience, and good old-fashioned hard work. As you evaluate a contractor, look for signs that they can do the job right the first time. Ultimately, you want to find a contractor that’s done many jobs like yours. If they have, chances are they know what they’re doing.
  5. Experience: Think about it, what contractor is going to tell you they don’t have experience with your kind of project? So, since you’re not a home improvement expert, how can you tell if they know what they’re doing? Here are 2 questions most contractors’ hope you’ll never ask. The answers will give you a very good feel for their level of experience.

Remember, when you’re hiring someone to do any type of work in your home, it’s your money and your home. Be sure you get everything in writing, ask all the questions on your mind and clearly understand the answers you receive.

For additional information, download the Thomas Custom Builders Contractor Standards Guide.