Hiring a Contractor

Tips to Help Select the Contractor That's Right for You...

Construction worker with hard hat.

We realize at the end of the day we will never get every contract we bid as well as we realize that every job we come in contact with may not be right for us. Our goal is to always do the next right thing for every customer; so whether we come to terms on an agreement or not, we want you to be educated about the process and want your contact with us to be a positive experience. That's why we have listed some of the things that are important in the contracting of home improvements.

In general, like any relationship you should be comfortable with who is in your home and their abilities to execute your dreams into reality. This is even more critical to elderly consumers. Some contractors may use unscrupulous high pressure scams to earn your business. In most cases the need to have work done on a home is not a decision you need to make in one day. Be cautious of any contractor or contractor sales representative that applies high pressure, scare tactics or makes promises without taking the time to include them in your final contract.

Here is a small list of things to keep in mind as you go though the interviewing process of finding a contractor that is right for you. More than anything it is a privilege to do a job for a customer and we recommend that, that be an attitude that your contractor has.

  1. Hire only licensed contractors, the state of California mandates that any contractor performing work for more than $500 must be licensed by the California State license board. Check your contractors license number online at WWW.cslb.ca.gov or by calling 1-800-321-CSLB to insure your contractor is licensed to perform the work you want! Additionally any sales representative that comes to your home on behalf of the contractor must also be licensed. Their license can also be checked on the CSLB website.

  2. Check references of at least 3 projects that your contractor has done. Most people are very willing to share their experiences with you. Remember, your home is your most important financial asset so take the time to validate your choice of professionals with people just like yourself.

  3. Be leery of any contractor that speaks slanderously of other contractors. Any contractor worth having work on your home is confident in his abilities and gains nothing from speaking in a negative fashion of other contractors.

  4. Get at least three other bids. It's not always the cheapest bid that matters in this exercise. Itís the education you get in the process. Often how a person represents himself in the first initial meetings will give you some solid insight into how they will conduct themselves during your project. Donít be too quick to judge a man that may come in work like attire, remember the guy that comes from a job to your home is a guy that will most likely be on your job insuring that it gets done right.

  5. Get a written contract and donít sign anything until you completely understand the terms of the agreement. Be sure the complete scope of work is listed and critical details are in plain and easy to understand language. Insist that any schedule of payments is listed and NEVER to adhere to schedule.

  6. You should be given a three day right-to-cancel notification at the point of execution of a contract. Homeowners waive their right to cancel on service and repair contract but even then donít be in too much of a rush to get repairs done, no matter how badly they may be needed.

  7. Never give a deposit of more than 10% of the contract amount or $1000, whichever is less.

  8. Never give cash!

  9. Do not make a final payment until the job is 100% complete and you are satisfied.