4 tips from Washington, D.C. home remodeling contractors
Three highly rated D.C.-area home remodeling contractors give advice on how to give your palace a proper facelift
1. What remodeling services do you offer? Is there anything you don’t do?
Sonny Nazemian: We do not do outside work like pools or landscaping. We do basements, extensive renovations, additions, tear out home and build new, decks, sun porches and gazebos.
Daniel Carrero: We handle almost everything from handyman work all the way through full remodel kitchen and decks and porches. We do not do foundation- type work.
Michael Nies: We offer bathrooms, basements and kitchens and handyman services. We don’t get into concrete or building new houses.
Who we spoke to
Sonny Nazemian, CEO
Daniel Carrero, president
Silver Spring, Md
Michael Nies, owner
2. When interviewing remodelers, what sorts of credentials should customers ask for?
Nazemian: The most important is how long they’ve been in the business. Second of course is licensing. By law, the contract should list their license number. If not, ask the class and type of license they hold.
Carrero: You’ve got to have state licenses to work in Maryland, Virginia and D.C.. Some cities require a business license. Check the insurance so you know what it covers.
Nies: Always ask for license as well as the class of the license. Ask for two to three references of people within five miles of where you live to go look at the work.
3. What’s the starting price for projects you work on?
Nazemian: I don’t do anything under $30,000
Carrero: We’ll do handyman jobs. It’s $95 per hour for handyman with a two-hour minimum plus materials. The biggest job was $290,000 for a full house remodel.
Nies: Bathrooms can range from $3,000 to about $5,000 in labor only; kitchens from $9,000 to $15,000 in labor; basements from $18,000 to $22,000 in labor.
4. When it comes to upfront payments, what’s the norm? How much should customers hold back until completion?
Nazemian: It depends on the size of the project. Our clients either pay one-third or one-half the total cost for a down payment. Always hold 5 to 10 percent at the end to make sure it’s done correctly.
Carrero: By law, in Maryland, Virginia or D.C., a contractor cannot ask for more than one-third for the deposit.
Nies: It’s customary to pay 10 percent to start and then split the last two payments.