Acclaim Renovations & Design provides these screening musts before hiring a home remodeler

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Bob Gallese, owner of Acclaim Renovations & Design, says you should always ask for references before hiring a contractor.

By Patricia Nugent

An unfair practice unique to the home improvement industry called “spiking the job”—or contractors duping people by pretending to do work within the three-day cancellation period of a contract—got its name from unscrupulous home siding salesmen walking out after a sales call and literally driving a spike into the home’s siding. By the time people realize work isn’t being done, the three days are over and the salesman is long gone with their money.

Although this practice isn’t commonplace anymore, there’s still plenty to be wary of when hiring a contractor.

Bob Gallese has been in the home remodeling business for more than 20 years, founding One Man and Hammer in 1999, then renaming it Acclaim Renovations & Design in 2015. To say the least, he has seen a thing or two when it comes to shifty contractors.

“In the end, the fallout from a few underhanded folks hurts the industry itself, which is sad,” he says.

Bob has a few suggestions for people looking for an honest and reputable home remodeler:

Do Due Diligence
Go to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) site to see if the contractor is a member. Go to Angie’s List to make sure he or she has received positive reviews. Make sure the contractor has insurance and workers’ comp.

Get References “I’m always shocked when a prospective client doesn’t ask for references,” says Bob. “We have a long list of past clients we’d love for them to speak with. We’ve even gone as far as inviting prospective people to stop by a current job site to see our technicians at work. If you ask a contractor for referrals and they only have one or two, that’s a big red flag.”

Be Wary of the Lowball “Unfortunately, lowballing jobs is not an uncommon practice. People go with the cheapest bid, then end up paying more in the end with overages. Over the years, I’ve lost jobs to people opting for the lowball bids, and often the people come back to us and we end up fixing the bad work their contractor did.”

Acclaim Renovations & Design is located at 8550 East Avenue in Mentor. Call 440-974-8082 or visit for more information and to view some amazing before-and-after galleries of room makeovers. The company has been awarded Contractor of the Year by NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry).