You’ll have to live with the results of your home renovation project every day, so it pays to have the job done right. Hiring the right Bay Area general contractor can make a huge difference between a successful project and an utter nightmare. We’ve gathered 11 time-tested tips for selecting and working with the right contractor for your renovation project.
11 Tips to Find the Right Bay Area General Contractor
- Look at Credentials
Do some preliminary research before hiring a general contractor. Find out if they hold all the required licenses, which minimize your chances of being ripped off. Ensure that the contractor is also bonded and insured. Otherwise, you’ll be liable if a worker gets injured on your project. A reputable contractor should also have designations from professional associations such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Building Industry Association (BIA).
- Don’t Use Price as Your Guide
Price is usually a reflection of quality. Beware of lowball bids. These usually come from contractors that cut corners, use subpar materials, lack the expertise to quote the job accurately, or are desperate for work. It’s often best to choose a bid in the middle range.
- Connect with the Contractor
Besides technical competence, comfort should also play a role in your hiring decision. A building contractor will be in your home for weeks or months, so you should select one that you’re most comfortable talking to and working with. Such a contractor will understand your goals, have the necessary experience, and answer all your questions in a way that puts you at ease. Be sure to communicate regularly with the contractor as they work on your project.
- Be Upfront with the Contractor about Your Budget
Discussing your budget openly with your contractor allows both of you to be on the same page throughout the project. You can consider breaking down the project into several phases. While it may increase the total costs due to inflation and repetitive startup expenses, it will help you spread out the costs over time.
- Get It in Writing
One of the best ways to ensure there are no surprises during your home or kitchen remodeling project is by agreeing on everything with your general contractor upfront. Insist on a clearly written, detailed contract. The contract should include the following:
- Project description
- Contractor’s license number
- Names of the parties involved
- Total cost
- Payment schedule
- Approximate start and completion dates
- How to deal with additional costs
- Know All the Requirements
Educate yourself on the regulations that have to be followed and the permits required for your renovation project. Your contractor should apply for and acquire the necessary permits. Be wary of companies that ask you to obtain the permits yourself or suggest that the project be carried out without permits.
You should prepare your home before the remodeling work begins. Have an area where members of the work crew can keep their tools. Remove any fragile or valuable items from the work site and seal the entry point for dust containment. Review the sample materials and ensure you’re happy with them before a job starts.
- Consider Your Neighbors
Make sure you tell the crew where the property lines are. This will help them avoid placing materials in a wrong area.
- Wait Before Starting Demolition
You should only begin demolishing your home after the new equipment arrives, such as doors, windows, and appliances.
- Focus on the End Result
Renovating your home can be an extremely disruptive process. Always remember the improved value, comfort, and efficiency you’ll enjoy in the end.
- Sign Off on the Project after Everything is Complete
You don’t want to pay for incomplete work. Make the final payment only after the job has been done completely to your satisfaction, and you’ve gotten all the lien releases and receipts.
Bay Area General Contractor and Heating & Air Specialist
Following these tips will help you get the best general contractor and make your renovation project less stressful. If you need any general construction and remodeling services in Castro Valley and the East Bay Area, contact us at B.A. Morrison. We provide a wide range of high-quality construction services that include custom homes, decks, room additions, restoration, and complete interior and exterior remodeling just to mention a few. Our experienced team of experts will work with you at every stage of your project to best meet your personal needs. For more information, please contact us at 510-538-9817 or use our online contact form.