Start by checking with family and friends if they have a recommendation. Go to a local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and which ones order quality materials and pay their bills on time. Once you have decided on two or three contractors to bid on your project, you should interview them in person and ask some of the following questions.
- Are they a Licensed General Contractor?
- How long have they been in business? Companies with experience have worked out their systems to insure work on time and highest quality.
- Verify: With the General Contractor’s of California before you hire a contractor to make sure they have no disputes with clients or subcontractors
- Do they have a Certificate of Insurance for worker’s compensation and liability insurance?
- Do they take on the size of project you are wanting?
- Can they give you a list of previous clients?
- How many other projects would they have going on at the same time?
- Do they subcontract all of the work?
- If so, how long have they worked with them?
Once you have met and you feel comfortable with the contractor you decided on, call up former clients to find out:
- How their project went.
- Were they on time?
- Were they courteous and careful with the homeowners’ property?
- Were they neat and cleaned up upon completion?
- You could also drive by if he or she has a current ongoing project.
- To compare buds, ask everyone to breakdown the cost of materials, labor, profit margins and any other miscellaneous expenses.
Do not let price be your guide:
Throw out the lowball bid. It means the contractor is cutting corners or worse desperate for work. The most important decision is choosing a contractor that you and he or she communicates well together. In the long run, its better to spend more and get someone you are comfortable with.