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Making improvements on your home? If so, you might be interested in hiring a general contractor. A reliable general contractor is responsible for the coordination of your project and are often involved from start to finish. However, not all contractors are created equal. Before you allow someone to tear out your bathroom, remodel your kitchen, or add a room, you’ll want to make sure they’re going to complete the project to your satisfaction. Builder Boy offers tips on how to find a general contractor who will share your vision for the finished product, work diligently towards your goal and maintain a safe and clean work space in between.
It should go without saying, but this is the most important thing you should look for in a contractor. Any work done by an unlicensed contractor is illegal, and could put you at risk of a lawsuit if a worker is injured and the contractor doesn’t have workers compensation insurance.
Another reason to make sure your general contractor is licensed is that carrying a license means they have been subjected to examination by a licensing board. An unlicensed contractor may not provide work that is up to code.
The Contractors State Licensing Board is a government agency that monitors contractors and regulates the construction industry. Its sole purpose is to protect consumers from illegal and unsafe construction practices. This website has resources for checking out your contractor and making sure they’re compliant with current contracting laws. You can also find forms, file complaints and find information about contracting laws on this website. As a rule of thumb, when you’re looking for a general contractor, they should not:
And make sure the contract spells out what work will be done, and how much the work will cost. It’s not a bad thing if the work changes as the project progresses (if this happens, your contractor should issue what is called a change order, which reflect changes to the original estimate and the subsequent cost differences), but your contractor should offer a legally binding document for you to sign that you both can refer back to in case any issues arise.
You definitely want to find someone who works quickly and completes project milestones within their estimated time frame. However, be wary of contractors who aren’t working on several other projects. It might mean they aren’t receiving a lot of interest in their business.
Each project is different, but if your contractor’s past customers have generally had positive experiences, it’s a good indicator that your contractor is committed to client satisfaction. Word of mouth from friends and neighbors is always helpful, but there are several great online resources that don’t allow businesses to alter or edit reviews. Yelp is a popular online directory that allows you to find local businesses and hear about your neighbor’s experiences, and it’s free. Angie’s List is another directory that allows you to find local businesses. It isn’t free, but it does offer customer service support and complaint resolution, which means they’ll advocate for you if something goes wrong. Houzz is also a great resource for finding pros, and the best part is you can see photos of previous projects, collaborate on ideabooks with your contractor and get advice from other customers on their discussion forum.
Choosing the right contractor shouldn’t be a snap decision. Even if you’re in a hurry to get your project started, take the time to make sure your contractor understands what you want, can be held accountable by a third party and can complete the work safely and legally. You’ll be glad you did.
For all your home remodeling and home improvement needs, contact the professionals at Builder Boy to schedule a free consultation. Call us toll free at 877.391.4648.
Builder Boy has been servicing Southern California home owners in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area for over 20 years. We are regarded as the leader in the home construction and remodeling business. We’re also recognized as the best construction company and general contractor for home improvement projects. We offer interior/exterior painting services, stucco, kitchen and bath remodel, custom cabinets, cabinet refinishing, cabinet refacing, interlock paving systems, stone walkways, concrete driveways, custom barbecue islands, custom fire pits, room additions, and storage solutions.
1868 Pacific Ave
Long Beach, CA 90806
Phone: (877) 391-4648
Fax: (562) 218-3295