With my morning coffee, I read an article about the post-recession "landscape" of remodeling in this past Saturday's Washington Post. It reminded me of a piece I had previously written before the major economic downturn, "How we protect your money and our trade partners' faith?"

The article suggested homeowners should be considering a company's financial viability-not only is this notion one we agree with, but it has always been our strong conviction.

How can you look into uncovering a company's financial viability?

Trying to figure out and obtain financial information about a company might seem challenging. I spoke with two representatives at our bank and both explained to me that banks aren't going to give out any information without explicit written permission and verifications of that permission from the account holder. There are privacy laws to protect individuals and companies. With some effort though, the task is not impossible, just cumbersome. Certainly, depending on the size of your project, you might seriously consider the effort.

In addition to customer references, ask for subcontractor references. It's a simple call and can begin with a couple of questions.

How long have you been doing business with XYZ Remodeling as their plumber, electrician, or painter etc.?

Have they been reliable with payments?

You should feel encouraged when you hear evidence of existing, long term relationships. Companies that don't pay their bills, typically, will have a difficult time maintaining relationships with their subcontractors and suppliers.

If a subcontractor is new to XYZ Remodeling, ask whom they used prior. If a subcontractor isn't being used any longer because of poor workmanship for example-you might consider verifying that information by speaking with a past customer familiar with that subcontractor.

In addition to subcontractor references, you might also consider asking for supplier references. You could ask to see recent monthly statements from lumber yards, and/or plumbing supply houses. Is the company's account current? Or, does the statement show them as being 60-90 days behind?

You'll probably have a quick impression of a company's history, once you start to inquire about references beyond the more commonplace and typical customer references. Does the contractor seem comfortable and does he/she demonstrate a willingness to accommodate your questions and concerns?


Contact Us Today

Call us at (410) 604-2283 - Let's talk about your home’s potential and your home remodeling inspirations. Or, if you'd prefer send us an email to jhall@villabuildersinc.com

What to Expect

Here's what happens when you call us-

  • We will talk a bit about what's bugging you with your home.
  • If you are comfortable after our first chat, you can invite us to take a closer look. This appointment usually takes place within a couple of days of your initial call.
  • During this visit, we will listen and take lots of notes.
  • Depending on your remodeling project, your needs, and your questions; our first visit typically takes about 1 - 2 hours. We will share with you how our design process will address your needs and your budget. There is no charge for this visit.

    If you decide that everything we talk about works for you, then we will take the next step where we will dig in and get your project moving.