Selecting a Remodeler

by: Carin Demmon, Design Consultant

Do you dream of cooking in a modern kitchen or watching the Redskins in your new sunroom?  Does your bathroom do little to make you feel refreshed?  If so, you may be thinking about remodeling your home, but where do you start?  Finding the right designer or contractor can be daunting, and it is a big investment to make, so how do you know if you are making the right decision?  Here are a few pointers in helping you select the right remodeler for you and your family.

The number one thing we always tell our clients is to check references.  This is the best way to find out about the company you may be working with.

There are two main questions to ask:

1)     Did your remodeling project end up costing what the contractor told you it would cost?

  • Foster Remodeling Solutions gives you a fixed price contract so you know what you are paying before entering into contract.  The only changes that affect the end price during construction should be client driven.  For example, a contractor should never come to you during construction to ask for more money unless you have made a change added something after the contract has been signed or a hidden condition is found.

2)     Did the contractor finish your remodeling project when they said they would?

  • No one wants to be without their kitchen or master bathroom for longer than they have to.  No one should have to wait longer than promised.  At Foster Remodeling Solutions we give you a start and end date on your contract that we always stick to.  When we assign a lead carpenter to your project they are not assigned to any other project during that time.  This way they are not trying to juggle more than one project and can stick to a schedule.  Plus, Foster Remodeling Solutions makes sure all materials have arrived to our warehouse undamaged before we start a job.  Making sure there are no surprises during construction is a sure way to stay on schedule.

These are the two biggest complaints we hear about other companies.  So do your homework and call references!


Always ask for a copy of the contractor’s license and make sure the date is current.  If someone is not pulling the permits for you, that probably means they do not have or have lost their contractor’s license.  Doing work without a current license is illegal and should make you wonder why they do not have one.  Without permits, the work being done on your home will not be inspected by a third party.  This means the work being done may not be up to code and you will be probably be very disappointed.  Stay away from contractors without an up to date license!

Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation are two things any upstanding company should have, especially when you are talking about remodeling.  A good remodeler will want to protect themselves, their employees, and their clients.  Make sure to ask and see a copy of their up-to-date insurance papers.  This could save you an arm and a leg!

Be aware of quotes that are too low.  It would be wonderful if you could get all you wanted for a price you were happy to pay, however if a company is quoting you something that is too good to be true, it probably is.  They could be leaving a lot of the work out of the quote in order to get you to sign with them, or they may be skipping out on getting the correct permits and inspections.  Whatever their reason is for quoting something half of another’s, beware!  Something is just not adding up.

How do you know you can trust someone in your home, with your family, and all of your possessions?  Well, I am not trying to scare you, but these are real concerns to have.  Foster Remodeling Solutions does a thorough background check of all their employees.  We also do random drug tests on our employees.  This protects the company and will make sure your remodeling job is being done safe and efficiently.

There are some websites, like Angie’s List, that will also help you in your search.  Make sure to do your due diligence and you will be sure to have a nice remodeling experience.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

author: Carin Demmon, Design Consultant