Hiring a home remodeler can be an overwhelming process, especially the first time. The more research you do, the better the chance your project will run smoothly.

  • Call or visit the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) website to determine if the contractor is licensed.
  • Ask if the company has had any complaints through the MHIC.
  • Call or visit the Better Business Bureau website or other online review sites to inquire about the company’s rating.
  • Find out how long the company has been in business.
  • Ask if the company is incorporated and, if so, for how long.
  • Does the project manager provide an office phone and cell phone so that he/she can be reached in the event of an emergency?
  • Obtain references and actually contact them.
  • Visit or view photos of the company’s previous projects to determine the quality of work.
  • Make sure the company has had experience with the type of work you want.
  • Have an insurance certificate sent to you.
  • Know that the company should have liability, automotive and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with the company’s insurance limits.
  • Call at least one of the company’s building material suppliers to find out their payment history.
  • Never pay anyone in cash.
  • Never give more than one third of the total contract price as a deposit.
  • Always get a written contract.
  • Know that you have at least a one year warranty through the MHIC. Remodeler’s that provide longer warranties often are confident in their own work.  
  • According to Maryland law, you have three days to cancel the contract, providing the work has not begun.
  • Look for business cards, lettered shirts, truck lettering or anything else that adds credibility.
  • Stay away from a contractor who seems too pushy or uses intimidation tactics.
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