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10 Tips You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor               Print this checklist

The contractor you select can make all the difference between your project being a dream project, or a nightmare. Protect your remodeling investment by becoming a savvy consumer when interviewing contractors. Follow these ten tips when selecting the right contractor for your project.

Knowing about licensing is an important first step. Any home improvement or other construction work valued at $1,000 or more requires a valid state license issued by the Board of Contractors. The three licensing classifications for contractors are:

  • Class A Contractors: Unrestricted in the dollar amount of contracts they complete.
  • Class B Contractors: May enter into contracts of value between $ 7,501 and $ 120,000.
  • Class C Contractors: May enter into contracts that do not exceed $ 7,500.

Before hiring a contractor, consumers should observe the following 10 tips:


Hire only licensed contractors. Insist on a copy of current license.



Confirm valid contractor license at www.dpor.virginia.gov or call 804.367.8511. The Better Business Bureau is not a good place to seek information on a company because it is a for profit enterprise and members pay for their inclusion.



Insist on copies of current insurance policies for both the general contractor and any subs he will allow on job site.



Get three references of past work. At least one reference should be very current.



Get more than one bid for exact same work to include exact same brands, models, and finishes.



Insist on a written contract and do not sign anything until you understand the terms. Initial any changes made to original contract.



Pay 10% down payment or $1,000, whichever amount is less.



Do not make final payment until you are satisfied with the job. It is customary to with hold 10% until satisfaction is achieved.



Do not pay cash.


  Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project (change orders, warranties, etc.).
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Kitchen Brokers
Ph: (703) 541-0952    Fax: (703) 541-2184

6056 River Drive - Lorton, VA 22079