The Contractor Search in Virginia Beach, VA – Facts and Myths

Virginia Beach contractor

Finding the right contractor in Virginia Beach, VA can sometimes be a daunting task, especially with all the information available online these days. But finding a contractor can also be a simple task, especially with all of the information available online these days. Wait, what? That’s right! We live in an information age where virtually everything we want to know – or don’t want to know – is available just at the end of the Google search bar. But how do you decipher all of the information; dig into what you need to know and weed out what you don’t and choose the right contractor for your project? Great question. I hope I can help address that here.

Businesses with certifications and affiliations ALWAYS are the right choice… right?

Well kinda, but probably not for the reasons you think. Joining associations online like the BBB, the local chamber of commerce or other local trade organizations in some cases are literally only a matter of writing a check to join! In some cases there are no qualifications at all. The same is true for some manufacturer certifications. Complaints to these “regulatory” organizations are posted whether the company is a member of them or not in most cases. Even local awards from the newspaper, etc. can sometimes just be a popularity contest.

So what does this mean? Simply that you cannot rely exclusively on this information to make an educated decision. You have to actually do the work and dig deeper! What this DOES tell you, however, is that the contractor cares about their image. They’re willing to invest into the perception of their business. They’re perhaps a little more fiscally responsible to make the investment each year. And that does speak to the intentions of the firm. But don’t assume that because someone writes a check to receive a certification (an affiliation really) that they’re any more or less talented than a startup or a business that’s been around for many years which simply relies on word of mouth reputation. The better research in most cases is to check with actual regulatory agencies like the VADPOR, State Corporation Commission, State Board of Contractors, etc.

My parents told me to always get three quotes…

I saw another local contractor address this recently and I loved how he put it. If you do NOT have a relationship with a contractor you trust, by all means, this is a great way to ensure you’re receiving reasonable quotes. It allows you to compare apples to apples or even oranges when needed. It gives you the ability to read people and get that “gut feeling” about who you could trust or not trust and to make the best decision for your personal situation AFTER you’ve done the PROPER research, with the proper organizations.

But look, if you have a contractor that you trust for your next kitchen renovation or bathroom remodel, don’t waste your time or another firm’s interviewing them for a job they cannot possibly win! You already know who you’re going to use. Take the time to honestly explain your desires for the project, your true and actual budget and develop a game plan and design for the job. Many times people misunderstand (and contractors do too!) that the interview process is not only about sales and how much money the contractor can get from you. But if you’ve done your real due diligence, it’s not very likely you’re going to be taken advantage of.

The interview process is where I get my education about products, services and processes…

Yes! But not completely! When you’re going to build an addition to your home or convert your bathroom to an exotic steam room you’ve got to do some research first on what you want. Listen, part of my mission statement is to educate clients through the sales process – but that’s for the ins and outs of the composition of synthetic roofing underlayment or why you would use aluminum versus steel for a metal roofing system.

Watch a little HGTV or pick up a trade magazine. Set up a Pinterest account. Visit a tile shop or a flooring retailer. Get an idea for what you want your design to be. “Yeah, but a professional firm will have a design team to walk me through that.” This is very true but how long do you want the process to take? And if you’re interviewing three organizations and haven’t actually decided on a contractor, what is your realistic expectation for the design team of a given organization to invest not knowing your budget, timeline or even whether you’ll actually even utilize their services for the project?

Remember, while this is a service industry, it’s not a servant industry. Absolutely, for certain, your business is very important to me to EARN it whether it’s now or five years from now, but tell me that! A reputable team will still invest into you now because it’s developing relationships that makes long term profitability in our industry anyways.

Here’s the condensed version. Do your due diligence for the job – whether it’s roofing, siding or windows. Whether it’s a kitchen remodel, bathroom renovation or addition. Exterior leak repair or full home restoration. Do some homework with the right organizations or regulatory agencies. Interview some contractors in Virginia Beach, VA if you don’t already have one you trust or is highly recommended. Don’t confuse the interview processes with the design process. Choose your contractor, develop a relationship and then work to build the project. Don’t expect to decide one day to build an addition and for work to begin the following week. Manage your own expectations and then allow your contractor to help grow that expectation. When you build a relationship properly, the relationship will build your project just as properly. There’s always the exception but make a decision to come out on top and most likely you’ll do just that.

Glen Sweitzer, Jr.

Glen Sweitzer, Jr. is a second generation contractor, born and raised right here in Virginia Beach, VA. As an athlete for his entire youth, Glen learned early that nothing comes without hard work and dedication to excellence.