Restoring an older car can be an exciting adventure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard work. It’s likely that it’ll require special tools and at some point, it’s more of a project than it is fun.

When you’re looking for the right auto shop for your restoration project, keep these tips in mind.

Look for a Clean, Organized Shop

A clean and organized shop is a well cared for shop. An organized shop is likely run by organized technicians and allows a shop to work better on a schedule. A clean shop is necessary for a quality paint job and accurate parts installation.

Take a look in the restoration area. Does every car have it’s own workspace? Are the parts being kept on separate shelves so they’re not mixed up?

Your restoration project is one-of-a-kind and you’ll want to entrust it to a shop that shows it cares.

Ask about their Experience

Before you leave your car with an expert, make sure they’re an expert in cars like yours. Ask about their experience with restorations, with your make and model, and with other cars made around the same time.

If you can, look into the work area. Do the employees look like they’re enjoying themselves and like they have confidence in the work they’re doing?

Don’t be afraid to get specific with questions – your restoration project is unique and it should be just what you want it to be.

Ask for an Estimate, Expect it to Change

Unless you allow the repair shop to disassemble your restoration project, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to give you a 100 percent accurate estimate. (It is called an estimate for a reason.)

Even if you’re only requesting part of the project be done in a repair shop, the technicians may uncover additional work that stands in their way during the process. Make sure you leave your contact number!

Look at Reviews

Even if you’ve been to a shop in person, asked questions, and observed the workspace, it’s always a good idea to look at reviews. If you know someone who has worked with a specific shop before, ask their opinion. Otherwise, look on Google or Yelp for reviews from past customers.