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Friday, December 20, 2013

Key Residential Featured in American Farmhouse Style

We are excited to announce that Key Residential's Caruth Master Bath Renovation will be featured in the upcoming 2014 issue of American Farmhouse Style Magazine. The room feature article by Erin Hatfield, "Rustic Respite", will be on p. 98-99 of the publication from the editors of Cottages & Bungalows. 

Look for it on newsstands soon!

Available for online purchase!

Many thanks to Becci Meier Architectural Services, Jason Osterberger Designs, LAIR Architectural + Interior Photography, and many other talented trade partners that contributed to this beautiful project!  

See more of this whole house renovation on our Houzz Profile >> Click Here

Friday, December 13, 2013

3 Key Elements for Every Home Office

Check out our newest Houzz ideabook featuring Study & Home Office inspirations from remodels and custom homes done by Key Residential over the years. 

Though each project has it's own unique aesthetic, and these spaces certainly run the style gamut from sleek contemporary to adorned traditional, a few things remain constant in the perfect home office/study.

1. Adequate storage (for your specific needs)

Whether you have shelves and shelves of actual (i.e. ink on paper, not e) books, papers in manila file folders, stacks of photos, binders of recipes, stationary, important legal documents that need to be locked tight or even digital files, the right type and amount of storage is crucial for a home office.

2. Ample lighting (preferably natural)

A large bay of windows or strategically placed skylights offer a welcomed alternative to drab fluorescent lighting that you may be forced to deal with in a professional office setting. Aided by desktop and under-cabinet task lighting when necessary, a healthy dose of natural light will inspire creativity and increase productivity in your home office. 

3. Comfortable seating 

An ergonomic desk chair on casters may be just the ticket for someone who works from home  or manages a large household, while an upholstered wingback or leather lounge area will add the right amount of sophistication and class to a more formal study. Depending on how you use the space, your office may require different seating types, but always keep in mind, comfort is key. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Home Made for the Holidays

While the majority of your home decisions are based on the efficiency of your day-to-day routine for the 340+ "regular" day of the year, there are a few things to be considered  that pertain specifically to the holiday season. Whether you're shopping for a new home, or contemplating renovating your current one, below are four spaces that will help tailor your home for the holiday experience of your dreams

A Space for Holiday Feasts

Click to see more of this luxurious home remodel
Whether you have a growing brood, in-laws & cousins from out of town, or a close-knit group of friends & neighbors, the holidays are a time when something as simple as having a meal becomes a large scale event. If a dedicated formal dining room with seating for 8 or more just isn't your style, consider a large kitchen table right at the heart of it all. Gate-leg, drop leaf or other expandable tables function throughout the year in their smaller format, growing to accommodate larger seasonal gatherings. 

Click to see more of this rustic whole home remodel

A Place to Wrap your Gifts 

As part of a home office, craft, or utility room, consider incorporating a gift wrapping station. With specialty storage for large rolls of paper, drawers for accessories & tools, and a large enough work surface to spread out your goodies, the hassles and headaches of gift wrapping may all but disappear. And while this space will no doubt become invaluable during the holidays, you may also find it frequented for storage and preparation of gifts throughout the year.  Check out some other great gift wrap inspiration spaces on Houzz.

A Space to Make Guests Feel at Home

Click to see more of this custom home

With friends & family traveling from far and wide, homes can reach maximum occupancy during the holidays. Having a spare bedroom (or a few) for guests is ideal. However, multipurpose or family rooms can also work in a pinch. Sofa beds, trundle beds or other expandable furnishings increase sleeping capacity without taking up precious space when not in use. Having privacy, adequate storage space, and access to a separate bath will also help your guest quarters feel a bit more homey.

See the rest of this whole home renovation on Houzz

A Place to Gather and Stay Warm

Click to see more photos of this home remodel

Nothing says the holidays like gathering about a crackling fire to share stories with friends & family while enjoying a mug of hot chocolate. Whether wood burning or gas, a fireplace is a wonderful addition to bring comfort to any home (not to mention that it doubles as an easy means of entry for a jolly old someone). If a traditional wood burning fireplace is right up your alley, consider incorporating a sizable firewood storage box into your surround design. This will reduce the number of trips into the chilly outdoors to restock. Also, if you're the type of holiday decorator that puts tinsel or greenery on anything that isn't a living, breathing member of the family, don't skimp on the mantel. A well adorned mantel is the true finishing touch for a wonderful holiday fireside experience.  Check out some other Key Residential fireplaces here
 See the rest of this custom home on Houzz
See more of this Dallas custom home on our Houzz profile

And for when you're ready to get your home all decked out for the holidays, check out these Contractor's Secrets to Hanging Holiday Decor courtesy of Houzz

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

4 Reasons You'll Be Thankful You Hired A Professional GC

Whether it's frantically preparing an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner for the extended fam, or the large scale clean up that follows, the holidays require a great amount of coordination and hard work to pull it all off without a hitch. Much like any renovation project, the festivities are a perfect example of how good leadership and organization can mean the difference between the sweet smell of success and going down in flames (dragging a smoking turkey carcass with you). So if you're considering a home remodel project, why go at it alone?

While some projects are small scale enough to be tackled by an avid DIYer, or simple enough to be managed by a homeowner with a lot of patience and dedication, a large scale remodel (aka an entire kitchen) calls for, nay demands, the input of a professional remodeler. And in the spirit of the season, below are our top four reason you'll be thankful you hired a professional general contractor rather than trying to tackle everything by yourself. 

1. Assurance of a written contract and a single, comprehensive scope of work.

Here in Texas, the TAB (Texas Association of Builders) provides standard written contracts utilized by most remodeling/building professionals. These contracts, like any legal document, can be  long and exhaustively detailed. There are the necessary disclaimers, disclosures and initials required on every page. Along with the contract is included a scope of work detailed enough to provide an exact description of what is (and is not) going to be included in your remodel. Of course, no remodeler can see through walls or predict the future. If, during the course of your renovation, there are issues with the existing structure for example, a change order will be necessary to add to the initial scope of work. But other than unforeseeable construction issues and the occasional 'why don't we add this while we're at it', there shouldn't be any surprises to you (or your pocketbook). 

2. Organization- from construction scheduling to consistent job site supervision. 

Contrary to what the commercials of yesteryear teach us, there is no single Mr. Fix-It that can show up and complete every one of your home improvement tasks (at least not for a large scale remodel). Depending on your project type, there could be a demolition crew, some framers, drywall installers, a licensed plumber, electrician or HVAC specialist, a tile guy, a few painters, and the list goes on. While your general contractor may employ in-house crews to do some of these tasks, it's likely most are subcontractors that are licensed or specialize in a very specific trade. Each plays an integral role in the construction and it is imperative that the various tradespeople be properly scheduled to avoid conflicts and ensure your project is completed in a timely manner. This is where your dedicated project manager (or team) comes into play. The PM is in charge of everything job site related- from coordinating sub schedules and organizing material deliveries to general maintenance & supervision. 

3. You only have to make one phone call for all of your needs.

You're half way through your kitchen remodel and you notice the cabinet hardware that's been delivered is a different finish than you originally discussed with the designer. Was the wrong part ordered, can they be returned, or are you just confused by all the decisions you've made lately?? This is just one of a multitude of questions that need to be answered. Posthaste! And who has time to call the cabinet maker then the hardware supplier all the while coordinating with the interior designer? Your general contractor, that's who. He/she acts as your one stop shop for any and all concerns. And the same goes for once the project is complete as well. You only have to call one source for any warranty related repairs. Though the specifics of warranty vary and are detailed in your contract, generally whether it's a leaky faucet or faulty foundation (though hopefully never the latter), your GC can handle all the repairs. 

4. Peace of mind for you and your family.

And arguably the most important reason to hire a professional remodeling contractor is peace of mind. If you've taken the time to choose the perfect contractor, you can let go of all of the stress of the process and have complete confidence that someone else with substantial knowledge and experience is in charge of your home's transformation. You'll never have to worry about who has access to your home and family. There will always be someone with eyes and ears on your project to ensure it's being completed to the highest of standards. So sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy your new space!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Key Residential featured in Design Matrix Magazine

We are excited to announce that Key Residential and the Caruth Whole Home Renovation are to be featured in the Nov/Dec issue of Design Matrix Magazine. The Design Promo article, "Blissful Home", will be on p. 99-102 of the international publication, which is dedicated to presenting a fresh perspective on the people behind the design.

Many thanks to Becci Meier Architectural Services, Jason Osterberger Designs, and many other talented trade partners that contributed to this beautiful project!

Check out the entire Nov/Dec issue of Design Matrix on ISSUU.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Key Residential Contractor of the Year Winner | 2014 NARI Greater Dallas Chapter

We are thrilled to announce that Key Residential has been named local CotY once again! Kevin Key took home two awards at this year's NARI Greater Dallas Evening of Excellence on November 12, 2013. 

Take a photo tour of the two whole home remodel projects below and let us know what you think!

Entire House $250,000 to $500,000 for the Caruth Home

Kevin Key, Owner

Click to see the entire Whole Home Remodel on Houzz

Entire House $500,000 to $1,000,000 for the Hollow Way Home

Evan Ratcliff, Project Manager

Click to see the entire Whole Home Remodel on Houzz

If you enjoyed, please let us know. Click to share the Caruth Home or Hollow Way Home on Facebook!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Outdoor Living Addition: The Big Reveal | Dallas Remodeling

Landscape Design: Jason Osterberger Designs, Poolscape: Pool Environments
With the construction completed in early summer, this Dallas outdoor living addition has had the chance to be thoroughly homeowner tested (and approved). So now it's time for the long awaited reveal of the final transformation.

Project Overview:

Taking just over 4 months to complete, this project included the expansion of the outdoor living area as well as pool and landscaping updates. The increased covered area houses a functional kitchen with island seating, dining table for 6, an updated fireplace, and an entertainment lounge.

The Spaces:

The entertainment lounge includes a corner mounted television, though the expansive view to the poolscape will make for tough viewing competition. The open area allows for casual dining and seating for 6 all with easy access to the kitchen- complete with Wolf grill, wood-fire pizza oven, undermount sink, dishwasher, and undercounter refrigeration. 

The Details:

The vaulted wood ceilings with custom beams house new heating elements and large scale fans to ensure complete comfort, regardless of what the weatherman may have predicted. The fireplace is given a face lift with textural ledgestone and a hearty wood mantle. The design of the flanking custom cabinetry and steel fireboxes is repeated on the wood-burning pizza stove in the new kitchen.

Completing the Picture:

Along with the outdoor living addition, the master bedroom was extended outward to increase the interior square footage and take full advantage of the revamped back yard. 

To see even more of the construction process, check out our original post here >>  Outdoor Living Addition   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Customer Service Myths Debunked | Courtesy of Salesforce

We've all heard that no news is good news. But is this really true when it comes to customer service and complaints? 

Apparently not.

According to an infographic published by Salesforce, just because you're not hearing complaints, that doesn't mean your clients are pleased as punch with every aspect of your service. 

The data tackles five common misconceptions about what complaints really mean to your business and bottom line.  

Myth #1- Most customers complain when they encounter an issue.
Fact #1- Less than 25% complain when they have an issue. 

Perhaps because their voices are often the loudest, we only remember the complainers (not the silent masses), making them seem like a much higher percentage of the overall client populous. But in actuality, 70-90% of your clientele could be suffering in silence, which in the end benefits no one. 

Myth #2- More complaints = Spending more to clean up the messes
Fact #2-  Most (80%) of customer service calls can be resolved within minutes

Myth #4- More calls = Lower Profits
Fact #4-  ROI for resolved complaints is 100% or more

No we didn't skip numbers just to be annoying. Myths #2 and 4 have the similar thread in that these misconceptions deal with the bottom line- what are customer complaints costing you in dollars and cents. 

And the answer is, they don't. More complaints don't mean less money in the bank nor do they require more money shelled out to put out fires. The cost of resolving most customer complaints is minimal while the return on investment of a satisfactorily resolved issue is extremely high.

Myth #3- Fewer calls = Stellar service and happier overall clientele
Fact #3-  Less complaints can actually mean a large pool of silent sufferers

This seemingly counter intuitive fact is worth repeating, again and again. Just because you're not getting customer service calls/complaints does not mean you're clientele are satisfied with your service. It just means there's a greater likelihood they're suffering in silence. So free-flowing and frequent communication with clients is imperative to gauging their overall satisfaction. Also, don't be hesitant to contract third party surveyor, such as GuildQuality, to generate more accurate and honest client feedback.

Myth #5- It's better to invest in marketing/advertising than customer service
Fact #5-  It costs 5x as much to win a new client as keep an existing one

While marketing and advertising are often heralded as the lifeblood a business, with terms like lead generation, SEO, and click through rates being hurled at us daily, there's no denying Fact #5- the hard cost of generating a new client is FIVE times as much as maintaining a current one.  And the best way to retain an existing client is to LISTEN to what they have to say, both positive and negative comments.  Granted, no one likes getting feedback, especially considering the term feedback has become almost analogous with complaints or negative reviews. But we just have to suck it up, swallow our pride, dig deep and whatever else needed to power through. By listening and resolving client complaints, we not only learn something that can be used to improve the overall function of our business, but we also gain a loyal and trustworthy cheerleader. Truly satisfied clients spreading the word about your business are the most welcome and effective means of advertising, that will result in referrals and increased business for years to come! 

See the entire salesforce blog article here >>

Monday, October 21, 2013

Kitchen Trends for Fall

A recent study by Houzz gives us a glimpse into fall trends in kitchen remodeling, which are leaning heavily towards counter replacements and full renovations.  And of those planning a new kitchen, almost half are planning to completely gut it and start from scratch. This is of course good news for remodelers everywhere, who are hoping to play an integral role in these kitchen transformations. 

And why are people planning to remodel their kitchens? To get the most enjoyment out of their home. Twice as many respondents (79%) reported that it was to improve the look and feel rather than to increase value at resale (38%). These types of renovations will be more personalized, improving the function and flow, upgrading appliances and adding much needed storage. Rather than an upgrade to boost monetary value, these upgrades will boost experiential value, which is truly priceless.

With just over 50% wanting to upgrade appliances, it's no surprise Houzz has info on the most coveted appliances on everyone's fall renovation dream list. And this year's wish list is catered to the chef's delight, with Chef's Stove and Double Ovens topping the list. And with more kitchen designs shifting to larger, more modern lower drawer storage, specialty drawer appliances for warming, refrigeration, and cleaning are being integrated into the layout. 

And of these dream appliances, it appears Stainless Steel is still king, with 65% of survey participants choosing to incorporate SS appliances into their kitchen reno. Stainless steel has long been the finish of choice for those looking to upgrade their appliances as it is just as at home in a contemporary as in a traditional kitchen. A less common but very high end trend is to incorporate the appliances into the cabinetry for a seamless effect. 

Looking to update your kitchen with stainless steel appliances, increased storage, or a more open floorplan? Contact us << Key Residential >> to discuss your upcoming project!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Understanding the Construction Process | New Home Building

So you’re ready to start construction on your new home. Fantastic!

So what happens next? Below is an infographic we've created to give an overview of the basic steps of a new home construction. The process and timeline can vary greatly, depending on your specific design, location, budget, and many other factors.  However, hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect and a better understanding of exactly where your hard earned dollar is going, and why.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Dallas Master Bedroom's Rustic Renovation | Before & After

This University Park whole home remodel is certainly unique and filled with character, however a true appreciation comes from seeing the transformation process from before to after. We've included a few before pics and process diagrams that will hopefully make the end result even more breathtaking in comparison. 

Major Changes:

*  Removing existing (aka boring) flat ceiling and vaulting it into the attic beneath the gable roofline 

*Adding custom designed structural beams with hand distressed finish

*  New  B-Vent Fireplace with Coronado Stone round creek rock facade and custom wood mantle

* Replacing the carpeting with reclaimed barn wood flooring by Appalachian Woods (natural color, clear finish)

Design: Becci Meier, Architectural Design Service
The raised ceiling and added architectural detailing dramatically increase the spaciousness of the master bedroom without making it overwhelming, while the addition of the warm wood floors and fireplace add to the character of the new space. Vintage, reclaimed, and re-purposed furniture, lighting, doors, and decorative accents complete the eclectic and rustic look. 

Major Changes:

* The vaulted ceiling is continued in the adjacent master bath, with beams  highlighting the new recessed entry  into the master bath.

* The beams' distressed finish was achieved by hand marring & scraping (ex: with axes, chisels, etc) the solid rough beams before installation, then applying multiple coats of paint.

*  The wall finish  is a tinted hard plaster coating that must be applied one wall at a time to prevent drying out. Each batch is infused with powdered color that is precisely hand measured and mixed to achieve a uniform color throughout. This technique requires patience, working with the right craftsman until  you achieve exactly what you are looking for.  

Design: Becci Meier, Architectural Design Service

So what can we take away from the before and after snapshot of this remodel project?  Dream, and dream big. Don't feel limited by the constraints of your existing space. With the right amount of planning and quality craftsmanship, almost anything is possible. And do your research to assemble the best team of professionals (ex: designer, architect, builder, specialty tradesmen) possible, to ensure it all goes off without a hitch!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Me On... | Social Media in the Remodeling Industry

According to a recent factoid in Remodeling Magazine, social media use has caught on among remodelers, however it appears not all social media/sharing sites are created equal. It's no surprise that Facebook is on top, with 80% of those surveyed using the social media platform, as the site boasts 1.15 billion active users as of March 2013.  And in what seems like a tremendous gap, 30% are Houzz users followed closely by LinkedIn at 28%. But considering the relative newness of the Houzz (launched in 2009) in comparison to LinkedIn (launched in 2003), such an established base of users this early in the game could predict a very bright future for the newcomer.  And not to be forgotten in the list, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest bring up the rear at 21%, 20% and 14% of remodelers surveyed using these sites respectively. 

So what does this tell us about the remodeling industry? That remodelers have way too much time on our hands, so we've decided to start 'liking' and 'pinning' the day away. Ha, hardly. Perhaps what we can learn from these statistics is that we've entered an entirely new age of marketing, communication, and interaction. Consumers now have the freedom to explore and learn about products, services, and businesses with the ease of a mouse click. So be mindful of what's put out there using your brand or imagery, because someone will find/click/share/post it. And embrace the opportunity to entertain, enlighten, and engage with your clients, and possibly reach an entirely new audience in the process. 
Happy sharing/liking/pinning/posting/tweeting!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Repainting | Where to put that fantastic new hue

Thinking of repainting as part of your next remodel or home update? Comparatively speaking, painting can be one of the less expensive and most impactful ways to update a space. But before you break out the brushes and throw on the overalls, there are some decisions that must be made. The first step is almost always choosing the color. Do you go with a bright yellow, fiery red or serene blue? But once the color scheme of your room is settled upon, there is still one BIG decision to make- exactly where to put that fantastic new hue.

 All Walls

Obvious, right? The most common choice is to paint all the walls with your selected color, leaving the ceiling, moldings, and trim a classic white. 

This is a great option if you want a dramatic result that can radically change the feel of the entire room. Depending on your color choice, a newly painted space can take your mood to an energized and uplifted high or relax you into a state of utter tranquility. With the right hue surrounding you, it will be easy to enjoy your new space. 

Another benefit to this color placement is that architectural moldings and details will really pop in bright white against a bold new color.

Right: Benjamin Moore Winter Lake 2129-50, Eggshell Finish

Feature Wall

Custom Blend: SW Chinese Red , P&L Grenedier Red
BM Classic Brown 2109-10, Eggshell Finish

A great way to integrate color, especially one that may be considered too dark or vibrant for an entire room, is by painting just one wall or area. By keeping the remainder of the painted palette relatively neutral, the focal wall will draw your eye in like a giant bulls-eye  A focal wall can be utilized to highlight the recurring accent color throughout the space or to introduce a unique color that compliments the other furnishings and fixtures throughout. 


Ceiling: Sherwin Williams Copper Harbor 6634, Walls: SW Posy 6630
Another alternative is to feature the color on the ceiling. This option is a great way to add bold colors without totally overwhelming a space. And depending on the color chosen, you can either visually expand the space, or bring it in for more comfort.

"Warm colors tend to advance, and cool colors recede, so if you are looking to visually raise your ceiling height, stick to cooler hues. On the other hand, if you have high ceilings and wish to make them feel lower — for a more intimate vibe — use a warm hue, such as red, orange or yellow."         - Houzz Contributor Jennifer Ott

A Blank Canvas

Okay, so you're probably wondering why white walls would even be included in a write up about placement of color. By painting your walls, ceiling, and trim a crisp clean white, you're allowing the other finishes, furnishings and artwork to take center stage and really stand out against a clean backdrop. 

Ignoring the technicality that there are about 1,000 shades of 'white' that you could agonize over, and given enough time and concentration, you may even begin to be able to discern the difference between Super White and Ultra White (though I doubt it), white is the perfect choice for a modern and sophisticated feel in any space. 

One word of warning- having all white walls, especially with minimal molding and architectural details, requires that you have SUPERB craftsmanship from the tradespeople chosen to execute your pale palette. Because an all white palette is so light reflective, the slightest imperfections in your wall finish will stand out like a giant sore thumbs down. So find someone that's willing to take the time to no only do it, but do it right.

So whether you're looking to add a daring 'statement' color or simply revitalize your space, keep in mind that it's not just which hue you choose, but how you display it that will have a significant impact on the end result.

For more tips on selecting the best paint for your buck, check out this Houzz Article!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Simple Steps to Prep your Fireplace for Fall

It may not feel like it yet, but fall is just around the corner (Sept 22nd to be exact). And even though we don't have chilly winds or the need to worry about heating our homes just yet, there are a few steps that can be taken now to prep for fall. Below are a few suggestions to get your home ready for cooler weather.

1. Give it a good clean

Make sure the fireplace is free of ash, debris and all creosote (unburned fuel) that could contribute to unwanted fires. A good cleaning also reduces the risk of Carbon Monoxide build up in your home. 

2. Inspect the exterior

Check the exterior for limbs, debris, and bird or wildlife communities. The chimney cap should be securely in place and in good working condition. Check for signs of moisture on the inside, which could indicate a faulty chimney cap. 

3. Don't forget the flue

With a flashlight, inspect the interior flue to see that it is in proper working condition and seals correctly. The flue should also get a good polish and scrub to ensure it is free of creosote and debris. 

4. Check your gas log components

If you have gas logs, which tend to burn cleaner than traditional wood burning fireplaces, don't think you're off the hook. The ignition should be tested and the system checked for clogged burner holes at least annually.

5. Call a Pro

Even if you're the most conscientious DIY homeowner, it's still a good idea to have the chimney, venting and furnace system inspected by a pro.  Wondering where to find a Chimney Sweep? Try the Chimney Safety Institute of America - - where you can find a CSIA Certified Pro in your area.

Bonus Tip:

Reverse your ceiling fans- so that they rotate in a clockwise manner- to help push hot air down from ceiling. This is especially effective in areas with high ceilings and may help reduce your overall heating costs for the coming winter. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

4 Tips for Choosing a Remodeler or Builder

1. Contact your local builder or remodeler association.

NAHB - National Association of Home Builders
NARI - National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Local HBA- Local Home Builders Association such as Dallas Builders Association

These associations can provide you with a list of member builders and remodelers that are certified and established in their feild, usually as easily as clicking a link on their website. Members are screened and voluntarily abide by a strict code of ethics, ensuring you that your home renovations are in the hands of a true professional.  

While it may not ease your mind as much as a direct recommendation from a trusted and long-time friend or family member, these groups are dedicated to providing knowledge and peace of mind to homeowners by cultivating a list of the highest caliber members.

2. Review typical projects and an overall portfolio of work.

These are generally available through a company website, online profiles such as Houzz or even a print portfolio that can be brought to the initial meeting. 

The purpose of this is two-fold- 

* to assess the quality of craftsmanship and aesthetic of their work (is the quality and overall style right for your home)

* to determine the scale and scope of typical projects (if they only do baths, no matter how beautiful, this might not be the best professional to renovate your entire home). 

3. Search out established businesses.

According to the NAHB, it usually takes 3-5 years to establish a financially sound business, and you want someone that will be around to handle warranty issues long after the construction is complete. 

So look for businesses with a permanent address. No 'fly-by-night work from the back of  a van' operations will do when constructing or renovating your dream home. And while many contractors do work from vehicles and in the field a large portion of the time, any reputable business owner will still have a base of operations from which to conduct general accounting, marketing and day-to-day operations. 

Check the rating and status of any complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Higher ratings come from businesses that have no complaints, or that resolve complaints in a timely fashion and to the consumer's satisfaction, as well as the number of years in business. [See how we stack up- Our BBB Rating]

4. Get a feel for the company and it's people- face to face.

While recommendations, reviews and photos can help you get an idea of whether or not a company is the right one for your scale and style of project, no amount of 'likes' or five-star ratings can replace that gut reaction when you meet someone in person. 

And even with increases in technology and the ease of communication in the digital age, interaction in-person is critical to establishing a good homeowner/remodeler relationship. 

This is the individual (or group of people) that you are going to trust with your privacy, your belongings and see on a very regular (and early in the morning) basis. If you feel at ease and can picture yourself communicating and interacting with this person without any reservations, then you've found the right contractor for you!

Considering a remodel soon? Download this checklist from the NAHB to help guide you though the selection process-