What You Should Look for in a Home Contractor, San Diego?
Home remodeling allows you to have a more stylish and functional space. It’s best to hire a contractor for these projects, but finding the right one can be difficult. Here are some things to consider when making your choice.
1. Gather Multiple Quotes
Getting more than one estimate is essential so you can compare different services. Pay attention to factors such as companies’ building materials and work methods. See how much they charge and compare their general project estimates to others.
Also, ask for past references from previous clients. You should also be cautious of very high or low bids. Instead, go for the one in the middle.
2. Look Locally
Hiring a local contractor saves you stress during kitchen remodeling. They can get back to you promptly if there is a problem with the project. They’re also more likely to be familiar with municipal zoning laws and building codes.
Make sure you know where the physical office is if you ever need to have a conversation in person. Be wary of a door-to-door salesman. Before hiring anyone, check they are correctly licensed.
3. Check Their Past Projects
See if they have information on previous projects. Can they give you any past client references? This is important to understand how reputable the company is. Ask former patrons about the quality of their products and their customer service.
Check online reviews and see how long the company has been in business. You can use the Better Business Bureau website to read reviews.
4. Interview Contractors Beforehand
Once you have a list of potential builders, interview them. Have a simple phone call with them to learn more about the individual. Get essential information about their experience and determine if you would work well together. Take the time to explain the general idea for the remodel, but leave any specific project details for when the contractor visits your home.
Here are a few questions to ask to get to know them better:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have prior experience on projects like mine?
- What’s your current lead time for starting new projects?
- Can you give me a general timeline for completion?
- Will this project require permits, and will you be pulling them if so?
5. Think Carefully Before Making a Decision
Don’t feel like you have to make an immediate decision right away. Instead, take time to evaluate the multiple bids. Also, don’t sign any contract until you have done your research.
Beware if a company asks you to pay a large deposit upfront, as this could signify a scam.
Ask friends and family to help vet potential contractors if you’re busy and don’t have time to complete the research yourself. They can also make recommendations.
6. Ensure They Have the Proper Insurance and Bonding
Ensure your contractor is properly insured and bonded. This will save you legal headaches down the road because you could be liable for accidents on your property if they are not.
Ask them for their certification of insurance. Inquire about the name of the provider, policy number and limits. Call the insurance company directly to verify the contractor is certified.
7. Have Everything in Writing
Ensure you have a valid contract before work even starts. Get everything down in writing so there is no confusion down the line.
Include the following in the document:
- A detailed description of the project and cost
- A payment schedule
- The estimated timeline
- Any applicable guarantees
- Signatures from both parties
All parties should sign to acknowledge any changes to the contract. Make sure to follow the contract’s cancellation clause if you decide to back out. You should also ensure the contract has the proper permits before signing.
8. Pay Once the Project Is Done
Don’t be pressured into paying the full cost upfront. Also, write a check to a company, not an individual, and don’t pay in cash. You may pay a certain amount as an initial payment for large projects.
9. Find Someone Honest and Trustworthy
You want to find a trustworthy builder to take care of your home and finances, so look for signs that a contractor is responsible. Start by reading online reviews and checking in with past clients. Also, ask for their proof of license and insurance to know they’re professional.
In addition, ask for a physical mailing address and see if the company has a website. Look them up on disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau and local court records.
10. Make Sure They Can Communicate
The contractor will become part of your family during a significant renovation, so you should establish a good relationship from the start. Ensure they know what they plan to accomplish and how it will impact your daily routine. They should also be willing to listen to your ideas.
Content communication is critical for a smooth process once the project is underway. Builders should provide regular updates and answer any questions. Make sure they’re comfortable talking to you about any problems as well.
How to Find a Good Contractor
Remodeling your home can take time and money. Consider checking out Precision Home Design & Remodeling to make the process go smoother.
One of the first steps in any renovation is hiring a contractor, so follow these tips to find the right fit.