TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOME
Choosing a contractor can be confusing. There are steps you can take to make the process less daunting and choose a contractor with confidence. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure the job goes smoothly:
Plan your project and budget carefully. Unless you have a detailed description of the job that includes an overall scope of work, a preferred materials list (i.e.: brand of paint, portable toilets, etc...), no two contractors will ever bid the same. Obtain at least three bids from qualified, licensed contractors.
Beware of the cheapest price. The low bid has the illusion of being a bargain, but it’s invariably the start of a client horror story. There are many reasons to be suspicious of any price that is substantially below the others.
Tips for Success
Once a contractor realizes they’ve underbid a job, they may add change orders increasing the price, find ways to cut corners by using lesser quality materials, hiring inexperienced labor or worse yet, abandoning the project altogether. The low bidder could be unlicensed, uninsured or unqualified. Call the State Contractors Board to verify their license is in good standing or visit their website at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/. Ask for insurance certificates for general liability and workers compensation. You can always ask the contractor to add you as an additional insured to their general liability policy (there may be a nominal fee involved). Rely on references. Make sure your contractor has experience with your type of job. They should be experienced in the size, scope and complexity of your particular project. Good references are priceless. Call and drive by job sites. The final comparison. Look beyond the bid. One of the most common problems with any project is the failure to communicate. Hire a professional who has made a commitment to their profession; he or she will want to talk about their work, their crew and will be proud to show you what they have done in your neighborhood.
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, including: Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Piedmont, Orinda and Lafayette