Virginia Beach home repairs

Virginia Beach Handyman

Hiring a Norfolk Contractor

Interview each Norfolk contractor you’re considering. Here are some questions to ask.

  • How long have you been in business? Look for a well-established company and check it out with
    consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are unresolved
    consumer complaints on file. One caveat: No record of complaints against a
    particular contractor doesn’t necessarily mean no previous consumer
    problems. It may be that problems exist, but have not yet been reported,
    or that the contractor is doing business under several different names.
  • Are you licensed and registered with the state? While most states license electrical and plumbing
    contractors, only 36 states have some type of licensing and registration
    statutes affecting contractors, remodelers, and/or specialty contractors.
    The licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed
    qualification process. Also, the licensing requirements in one locality
    may be different from the requirements in the rest of the state. Check
    with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find
    out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state has licensing
    laws, ask to see the contractor’s license. Make sure it’s current.
  • How many projects like mine have  you completed in the last year? Ask for a list. This will help you
    determine how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.
  • Will my project require a permit? Most states and localities require permits for building projects,
    even for simple jobs like decks. A competent contractor will get all the
    necessary permits before starting work on your project. Be suspicious if
    the contractor asks you to get the permit(s). It could mean that the
    contractor is not licensed or registered, as required by your state or
  • May I have a list of references?
    The contractor should be able to give you the names, addresses, and phone
    numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask
    each how long ago the project was completed and if you can see it. Also,
    tell the contractor that you’d like to visit jobs in progress.
  • Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If yes, ask to meet them, and make sure they have current
    insurance coverage and licenses, if required. Also ask them if they were
    paid on time by this contractor. A “mechanic’s lien” could be
    placed on your home if your contractor fails to pay the subcontractors and
    suppliers on your project. That means the subcontractors and suppliers
    could go to court to force you to sell your home to satisfy their unpaid
    bills from your project. Protect yourself by asking the contractor, and
    every subcontractor and supplier, for a lien release or lien waiver.
  • What types of insurance do you carry? Contractors should have personal liability, worker’s compensation,
    and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates,
    and make sure they’re current. Avoid doing business with contractors who
    don’t carry the appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you’ll be held liable
    for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.

Tip-offs to Potential Rip-offs

Not all contractors operate within the law. Here are some tips that they are a less
than reputable Norfolk contractor:

  • solicits door-to-door;
  • offers you discounts for finding other customers;
  • just happens to have materials left over from a previous job;
  • only accepts cash payments;
  • asks you to get the required building permits;
  • does not list a business number in the local telephone directory;
  • tells you your job will be a”demonstration;”
  • pressures you for an immediate decision;
  • offers exceptionally long guarantees;
  • asks you to pay for the entire job up-front;
  • suggests that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows. If you’re not careful, you could lose
    your home through a home improvement loan scam.

Checking References

Talk with some of the remodeler’s former customers. They can help you decide if a particular
contractor is right for you. You may want to ask:

  • Can I visit your home to see the  completed job?
  • Were you satisfied with the  project? Was it completed on time?
  • Did the contractor keep you informed about the status of the project, and any problems along the way?
  • Were there unexpected costs? If so, what were they?
  • Did workers show up on time? Did they clean up after finishing the job?
  • Would you recommend the contractor?
  • Would you use the contractor again?

More Tips on Renovation (, , )

If you are looking for a Virginia Beach home improvement services then please call 757.306.0500 or complete our online request form.