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How to Find the Best General Contractor

Doing home improvements can turn into a complete nightmare if you don’t choose the contractor well. The last thing you want is an unreliable contractor who would turn your home upside down only to leave the job half-done. Not to mention the leak in your finances which you would be hard-pressed to repair. You need someone who is able to get the job done as planned, come hell or high water. Take a look at our checklist that will help you evaluate and choose the right contractor for your next project.

License

Some people may disregard a contractor’s license as a pure formality, but that’s a huge mistake! Home improvement companies that are on the list of Licensed Contractors have to adhere to strict industry standards and regulations. Moreover, once you have the contractor’s license number (#xxxxxx), you can check their license details, which include the license status, general business and bonding information, and the workers’ compensation policy, among other. You can check the license of any contractor in California here.

Better Business Bureau

Better Business Bureau helps homeowners make an informed choice when it comes to contractors they can trust. BBB awards the annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics to businesses who show exceptional devotion to their customers and transparency in their services. You can also find a list of BBB-accredited construction remodeling businesses here.

It’s really interesting that BBB also evaluates business advertisements annually. The purpose is to identify companies who mislead potential customers with overinflated self-promoting information. In that way, BBB helps customers make informed choices based on reliable advertisements.

Insurance Coverage & Workers’ Compensation

You can tell a lot about a company by the way they treat their employees. This means they take care of their employees’ safety and try to prevent on-site mishaps or injuries. In case of an injury, though, a contractor should account for adequate compensation. In the same way, a contractor has to account for the possible damage to their customer’s property. An insurance coverage protects the employees but frees the homeowner/customer from covering the expenses. General compensation coverage works in a similar way.

The most common coverage is the workers’ compensation coverage, which avails the contractor and the customer/homeowner from the financial responsibility if an employee suffers a bodily injury on site. To check whether a contractor you are considering has one, check their license details for the confirmation.

Flexible Approach and Creative Solutions

If you are planning a home improvement project, then you certainly have some ideas about what you want to improve. You probably even have specific requirements. It’s important that the contractor you are about to hire really understands what effect you want to achieve.

They have to be creative and flexible enough to present you with the design solutions that will achieve that goal. Steer clear of contractors who dismiss your ideas saying that they are not feasible. It’s their job to come up with the solution you will feel positive about! After all, it’s your money, so you get to choose who you will work with.

Wouldn’t it would be ideal if you could actually see the end result before the project even starts? With 3D architectural renderings, your contractor can show you exactly that. It’s imperative that you are clear about what you like and what you don’t like. A good contractor will try to come up with an alternative solution you will love almost equally.

3D Rendering - General Contractor San Diego

Location

If you can’t decide between two contractors, and one happens to operate in or near your local area, while the other doesn’t, go with the former. Firstly, that contractor can guarantee a quicker turnaround time, especially in cases of emergency. Secondly, you can ask around, check their references more easily, and even see some of their past projects in your neighborhood. Perhaps equally important is the fact that locally-owned companies have a greater sense of devotion to their community and may issue special discount offers to local residents.

In our next article, read about how to find a general contractor in San Diego by filtering your choices through criteria such as pricing, cost estimation, payment plan and other relevant factors.

 

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About

Gregg Cantor, a third generation contractor and owner of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. Gregg's is experienced in all phases of construction and home remodeling including design development, project management, best building practices, code requirements, and contract law. He also writes articles for examiner.com and is co-host of The Home Pro Show Saturday's at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on A.M.600 KOGO San Diego. Follow Gregg's posts.


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