How did you get started doing this type of work?
When I was growing up my father was(and still is) an avid remodeler. I lived through ongoing renovations for a good portion of my childhood. I performed my first demolition job at age 9, helping to tear down a brick wall with a hammer and flat bar and was always helping dad out when he needed an extra pair of hands. I knew I was learning lots of curse words from pop, what I didn't realize at the time: I was also learning to love tearing apart old houses and rebuilding them into something greater than the original.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Check references. That is the single most important thing in my opinion. Probably just as important is asking the right questions. You want to know what kind of project the reference had done. Was it an upscale bathroom remodel or adding an economy toilet in a mobile home? You need to try to match the type of contractor you're looking for with the type of project you want built, and make sure they can do the work to your expectations.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That remodeling is not easy, especially kitchens and baths. There is a ton of design work that goes in on the front end of a successful project and a lot of pricing and estimating work as well. Some people also tend to think the trades don't require any intelligence or in depth technical knowledge to perform well. This is definitely not true, particularly in today's age of ever increasing product offerings for the building industry as well as the expanding field of building science.