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Dilworth’s Custom Design
Dilworth’s Custom Design

The success of any home remodeling project hinges on the quality of the contractor doing the work. For this reason, homeowners must ask the right questions when interviewing potential candidates and do their homework. And of course, one of the best ways to get to know someone is in person. At Dilworth’s Custom Design, they believe in walking side by side with clients throughout the remodeling process, and after several decades in business, they know a thing or two about what goes into it.  

Dan Dilworth started his cabinet-making business in his father’s garage in 1990, and it has grown to a family-run, full-service kitchen and bathroom remodeling company. Dilworth personally oversees each project his company does, and his team provides support for every facet from selecting materials to installation. 

House & Home spoke with Dilworth about the top qualities in a remodeler and what homeowners should ask before committing. 

What is the best way to find the right remodeling contractor?
Referrals are the best way to find a remodeling contractor. Ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers.  Use social media. There are new “neighborhood” apps that are increasing in popularity. You can use these to ask others in your neighborhood if they’ve had similar work done and how they felt about their contractor. Local lumber yards and realtors are other good sources. 

Are there certain credentials this person should have?
Yes. Home remodelers in Pennsylvania must be registered with the state and will have a registration number. The Better Business Bureau is another good resource for checking credentials.  Is the company a member of any trade groups? The National   Association of Kitchen and Bath Remodelers (NKBA) and the National Builders Association are two of the largest. Membership can indicate a commitment to the industry as well as sound financial standing. 

What questions should I ask them?
Once you’ve decided to reach out, pay attention to the initial response. If you sent an email, was it answered in a timely manner? If you called during business hours, did you get an answering machine or a live person? Was your call promptly returned?

Aside from discussing the scope of the job and your needs/wants/budget, there are other questions to ask before you commit.

• How long has the contractor been in business?

• Does your job fit into the scope of their expertise?

• Will subcontractors be used on your project?

• What is the time frame—when will the job start and how long will it take?

• Does the company have both liability and workers compensation insurance?

• Can they provide a list of local referrals?

What can an on-site visit show me about the company?
It will help you get a “feel” for the company. Visit the office or showroom and notice the surroundings and the people. Do employees seem happy or harried? Do the premises look well maintained? As a prospective client, how are you treated? Are you made to feel welcome or like an intrusion? Are your questions answered with patience and truthfulness? Aside from the quality of the work, find out if the company has a trustworthy reputation among its peers and clients. With a large   remodeling job, it is often necessary for workers to be in your home when you are not there so feeling comfortable with the company will go a long way in minimizing your stress.

There are many remodeling companies out there, and it’s worth the time and effort to find the one that is the perfect fit for you and your project.

Dilworth’s Custom Design
175 N. Whitehorse Road, Phoenixville, Pa. | (610) 917-9119

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 18, Issue 10 (April 2018). 
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