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Choosing a Contractor

In the State of California, companies or persons doing work on your home must be licensed and in good standing with the California Contractor's State License Board.
The Contractor's License Board website at www.cslb.ca.gov allows you to review a contractor's status and history. You should avoid hiring a contractor with a strike against his/her license.

Is the contractor a member of the Better Business Bureau? www.sandiego.bbb.org
Complaints the BBB has received are listed and how any issues were resolved. If there is a history of numerous issues, this may indicate how the company conducts business.

Make sure the contractor is fully insured with liability covering property damage and worker's compensation covering personal injuries on the jobsite. Hiring an uninsured contractor puts you at risk if he or an employee is injured working on your home.

Ask for references from past and current clients, particularly those with projects similar in scope and size to yours. Ask about their experience, good and bad. Keep in mind issues and problems arise during construction and how those are resolved is the key to a good or bad experience with a contractor.

You get what you pay for in the home building and remodeling industry. Business and building costs do not differ that much. If you have gotten several bids from contractors and a low or high bid is wildly different, think hard and ask questions.

Trust your instincts. When speaking to several contractors ask yourself:

  • Are they listening to what I want and need?
  • Are they responding to my calls and questions and following through with what they say?
  • Which one can I work with for several months?