Here are five steps to developing a great relationship with a remodeling contractor.

1. Let the contractor know if you are ready to remodel or just kicking the tires. Gary Palmer, a Charlotte, N.C.-based general contractor, says seeking multiple bids is fine, but don’t waste his or her time by letting the bidding process drag on for weeks.

2. Do your homework. Before seeking bids, develop two files. One should include information, including photos, of what you like. The other should include a list of what you don’t like.

3. Listen to the experts. A good contractor can tell you whether the project is feasible and what the pay off will be.

4. Communicate your budget. Let the contractor know up front how much money you intend to spend.

5. Be realistic and patient. Every remodeling project is messy and all of them are going to be frustrating somewhere along the way.

Source: Charlotte Observer, Barbara S. Russell (10/23/2010)

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Will Nesbitt

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Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with NesbittRealty.com Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.