In this article, we’re going to dish out 5 important tips for choosing the right remodeling contractor. Choosing the right general contractor is a make-or-break decision that will decide how the rest of your project goes.
Tip #1: Reviews, References & Word Of Mouth
One could almost get by with just checking for references and reviews. In our digital world, you can find almost all of a business’s info at the tap of a few buttons. For us, that’s a good thing with our three dozen five-star reviews. You can dig a bit deeper by checking out websites like BBB and BuildZoom. On these sites, customers tend to go more in-depth with their positive reviews or grievances.
Word-of-mouth is how business was exclusively done in the olden days and nowadays, we have online reviews to partially replace that, but you still can’t go wrong with asking around the neighborhood, family & friend groups. Simply ask them if they’d use the same contractor again. If you happen to know a building inspector, you’ll surely find someone who is reliable and does good work. On that note, if you can get in contact with anyone who sees’s contractors on a regular basis, they can give you good recommendations as well.
Red Flags To Look Out For
Reputable remodeling contractors will provide you with references and examples of their work almost without you having to ask. Be wary of a contractor who lacks this information in person or online through their website or social media.
Tip #2: Meet Face To Face
We suggest meeting with 3-4 contractors face to face for estimates and further consultation. They should be able to answer your questions and even talk to you a bit about your specific needs.
Tip #3: Don’t Let Price Be Your Only Factor
We suggest throwing out the low-ball bid almost immediately. You never want to work with the contractor that cuts corners, is desperate for work, and likely is unlicensed, to begin with. All things being equal, it’s much better to spend a bit more and get someone with who you’re 100% comfortable can get the job done right. We always offer a fair price for our services and do our best to explain why we charge what we charge as well as the benefits.
Tip #4: Business Licensing & Management
First things first, your remodeler should have a permanent mailing address, business phone number, and email for you to get in contact with. We’ve heard too many horror stories of people paying $10,000’s on a down payment only for the contractor to go MIA and disconnect the one way of contacting them.
In the first meeting, ask for a copy of the remodeler’s insurance certificates as well as proof of licenses (which can easily be searched for on your state government websites.
Tip #5 Review Finished Projects
It’s important to call your general contractors references and not just read online reviews. Usually, reviews are left within a month of the process being over. Customers will speak about how the process went, the friendliness of the contractors, the quality of their work, and communication. However, there’s just one thing missing, and that’s how the work stands over time. This is why we suggest speaking to old and new references.
Bonus Question: Ask The Right Questions
Getting down to the bottom of whether you should work with someone or not is all about asking the right questions. There are obvious questions you should ask like, “are you licensed” and “can I see references”, but you’ll want to dive a little bit deeper with further questions.
Here are five questions you can ask to make sure you’re picking the right general contractor in LA that fits your needs:
- “Can I see your certificate of insurance?”
- “Will you obtain the permits and set up the inspections required for this job?”
- What is the payment schedule?”
- “What is the payment schedule?”
- How will my project be supervised?