How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Project

The German Village Society is frequently asked for recommendations on projects ranging from art restoration to chimney repair. We understand the importance of choosing qualified professionals and have created a list of pointers to help you find the right contractor for your home improvement project.

1. Ask your neighbors for recommendations.

Your neighbors will give you honest opinions about their experiences with contractors; you may be surprised when you keep hearing the same names come up in conversation.

2. Contact the Home Preservation Program at Columbus Landmarks Foundation

Columbus Landmark Foundation, Director of the Home Preservation Program, Susan Keeny, keeps a vetted list of contractor for many historic home improvement projects and is happy to share contractors your historic home projects.

3. Once you have begun contacting contractors to discuss your upcoming home improvement project…

Ask them important questions such as, “Have you done work previously in the German Village Historic District?”, “Have you done this kind of work before?”, “Do you know what a Certificate of Appropriateness is?”, “Have you reviewed the German Village Guidelines?”, and “Have you dealt with the German Village Commission before?”.

4. Make sure to communicate with your contractor

Communicate exactly what your project is and listen to how they respond. It is important that your contractor and you are on the same page and have the same goals for the work.

5. Consider your options.

Once you have decided on your contractor, depending on the size of your project you may consider a conceptual review. Conceptual reviews are recommended for projects such as new builds (an addition, a garage, a porch, elaborate landscaping, etc…). A conceptual review provides the commission’s input on your project (without a verdict of approved/not approved) and often speeds up the Certificate of Appropriateness process, because you are able to understand and modify your project based upon what the commission says they will or will not approve and return with more complete plans the following month.

Through quality workmanship, you not only beautify your home,  you also help preserve German Village. If you need any help understanding the German Village Guidelines, understanding the Certificate of Appropriateness application, or are interested in scheduling a home visit for preservation advice, please contact