Don't Accept Contractors' Claims of being "Local Arlington Companies," or being "highly experienced," on face value. You will likely be shocked at the truth.
Recently, we took it upon ourselves to do a little "marketing research" on licensed companies doing remodeling work in Arlington County, VA. We wanted to get a perspective of what types of projects are being done, and by which companies, as well as gain insight into who and what these companies really are. We included our own company, Cook Bros. in this research project.
I considered long and hard whether to publish these facts with the actual company names, and was conflicted about whether doing so is advisable, on many levels. It could be considered "in poor taste," defamatory, self-serving or even potentially rising to a creating a perception of "legal liability." (I have a law degree myself, and know how silly some people can get suing for almost anything)!
I decided to do so. It was too tempting to resist publishing this data, as it makes Cook Bros. look outstanding in comparison to all other companies doing remodeling in Arlington!
All of the data was gathered from governmentally published and public accessible records. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or correctness of this information, as we are only "repeating it" having sleuthed it out and interpreted it as best we can understand. We did not include on our list or pay any attention to every company who may or may not be doing business in Arlington, just the ones we see are doing some Remodeling work and those we "run into" from time to time. We believe our list includes all significant players in the Arlington Remodeling market, but may have missed some.
It is actually mind-blowing to see the actual facts and data regarding Contractor-pulled Building permits in Arlington County, as well as the official "State" licensing addresses given for the companies. We screened out non-building permits, such as right of ways, plumbing, wall-checks, etc. as they are not representative of true remodeling work. (But, FYI - Cook Bros. was the big leader in that count too)!
From our findings, Cook Bros. leads the entire list by a LARGE margin in most cases, regarding the number of building permits pulled in Arlington since the records were put onto the new system in late 1999 - early 2000. Of course, Cook Bros. had been pulling building permits in Arlington County for more than 12 years prior to 1999, but they are not available for comparison on the www.velocityhall.com until after early 2000.
For example, Cook Bros. pulled 246 Building Permits in this period, where the nearest competitor on our list pulled only 167 (32% less than Cook Bros.). Then the next, #3 on our list, had only 130, then next had 99, then 89, then 89, then 82, then, 62, then 56 and on and on down to half with less 30. Cook Bros. pulled over 120 times as many building permits as the lowest on the list.
This should illustrate just how big a deal it is to have GOOD INFO when choosing your remodeling contractor. Do NOT BE FOOLED by all the "BS" statements and claims made by companies about their experience levels, or how long they have been in business, or even whether they have an Arlington business address! That's right, only 3 of the top 5 have Arlington business addresses! And these 5 pulled 60% of all of the building permits on our list in this period! Cook Bros. pulled over 1/3 of those! Making these stats even more dramatic, note that of these top 5, only Cook Bros. (#1) and the #4 had solely Residential Remodeling building permits, i.e., NO new homes/commercial building project permits, etc.
Lesson here: Numbers don't Lie! Be careful to really find out if a Remodeling Company is what they say they are, BEFORE you let them into your lives. Who do you think has the most experience to bring to your project?
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