You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Picking a contractor

Thinking about starting a renovation project? We asked Craig Durosko, founder and chairman of Sun Design in Burke, Va., to outline what you need to know to find a good contractor.

•If you are hiring a contractor, make sure he or she is licensed with your jurisdiction, following building codes and obtaining the necessary permits required to do the work. “It’s good to have the county involved so you’ll have a third-party inspection,” Durosko said.

It’s a huge red flag, he said, if the contractor is not licensed and is doing the work without a permit.

•Insurance is also important. “He should have liability, workers comp and even auto insurance if he’s driving a vehicle to your site,” he said.

•For projects requiring you to spend large sums of money, don’t be afraid to inquire about the contractor’s creditworthiness.

“Go to Dun & Bradstreet,” he said. “You want to see if he has a history of paying his bills.”

Also, check the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the firm.

•Make sure you have a good line of communication with the contractor. “You want to be able to access (someone) 24 hours a day,” Durosko said. “You want to (reach someone right away) if you find out you have no hot water during construction.”

•Given that contractors may be in your house for several months, you’ll want to know whether they are a risk to your family, Durosko said. Ask “are the people screened” for drug use and criminal activity, he said.

– V. Dion Haynes, Washington Post