Tips for finding the right Contractor
Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, and supply houses.
Start with friends, family, and local businesses that would have contact
with the contractors in the field you need work in. Ask family members in the area if they know a good contractor in the field. Ask
Check for complaints against the Contractor.
The list of recommendations you compile is just a starting point. Recommendations
in hand, next you'll want to hit up Yelp. Search for the local BBBureau and check to see if there are any outstanding complaints against
the contractor. While you're at it, check your local Chamber of Commerce and Department of Consumer Affairs—Ideally you'll find no
complaints lodged against the contractor you want to hire.
Find out what licenses and permits they need.
Before you start calling
contractors, you need a little background information. Call your city or municipality and check what a contractor needs to work in
your area. Even if city employees have a reputation for being a little gruff, they're more than happy to help someone who is taking
the time to make sure things are done right. Ask simply "I'm going to hire someone to rewire my garage. What are the requirements
for an electrician working in this city and what permits will we need?" You'll know what to ask the contractor, and you'll get a sense
of who is trying to pull a fast one when they say "Nahhhh, we don't need to worry about that."
Check out the Contractor's insurance.
Don't skip this step!
Ask about insurance. You can't afford to have someone doing work on your home without insurance. If they get
injured or destroy your property and they aren't insured, the bill comes to you. Don't feel bad being firm on a request for proof
of insurance. Ask how many employees they have, ask about who will be doing the work. Depending on the field and the kind of work
being done, it's possible the supervisor has all the credentials but the workers don't.
Meet with the Contractor.
you need as clearly as possible to the contractor to decrease any chance of miscommunication and wasted time and money. Pay close
attention to how the contractor conducts himself. If you get a bad feeling about any part of the process, get a new contractor.
Always get quotes and detailed estimates in writing. Never accept anything like "Yeah it should run you about X..." because
verbal contracts are worthless in court should things go terribly wrong. Insist on detailed estimates and that even the gray areas
of the pricing are detailed. In some fields it's impossible to perfectly estimate cost, especially if the contractor won't be able
to get a better look at it until work has started. But it's not unreasonable to get an over-run percentage in writing where the contractor
states that while the job may run over it won't be more than 15% of the estimate he's given you
Ask for references and check them
If a contractor can't give you at least three people to vouch for the quality of his work you're in trouble. If applicable to
the kind of work you're having done—landscaping, large-scale remodeling—ask to see photos of past work. Contact the references and
if the size and cost of the job merits it, ask if you can see the work in person.
9605 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92126 ph# (858) 549-2260 fax# (858) 549-3994 CL# 959251