What to Look For in a General Contractor

Finding a home remodeling contractor can be an arduous task. It takes time to review all the potential candidates for the job, get bids and make the final decision. However, it can be a lot less painful if you have a plan coming in.

Here are the steps you should take when evaluating a contractor for a potential job:

1) Determine the need or want for the remodel- Have you been saving for this remodel? Have you prepped any area for a potential remodel? Your answers don’t necessarily need to be “yes” for either of these questions, but you should know right away that remodeling jobs cost thousands of dollars, so prioritize your finances. I would not recommend financing the remodel unless it is a need, or unless you get a low rate on a loan you can pay back relatively quickly.

2) Do some basic online research for price ranges and determine your budget- If you’ve taken the next step and decided that this is a priority then do a little research to figure out a ball park for the remodeling job as best you can. Indoor areas, such as kitchens or bathrooms, have concrete square footage, so they’re easier to estimate.

3) Do a little more research online to find a few companies that you’d like to ask to give you a bid- If you’re satisfied that the ballpark is within your budget then start to research companies online. Find a handful online and start to go through their website. Do they have…

Also, make sure they’re licensed contractors, carry workers compensation and are fully insured. You can research that information in your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs website. Here’s a link to California’s website.

Finally, check out their online reviews. Then start to narrow your candidates down.

4) Call at least 3 contractors who you’ve narrowed down in your research to come and give you an estimate– Between the time you called each one and the estimate make sure you have examined their website and reviews in more detail. Also take note of:

  • how quickly they responded to your phone call or email
  • how quickly an estimate was scheduled
  • how courteous they were throughout the process
  • how thorough the estimate process was
5) Evaluate each bid– This is often the most difficult part of the process. You need to keep in mind that price shouldn’t be the determining factor. Trust your instincts, and if you felt good about the way you’ve been treated by a certain company above others, then you should go with your gut. Just make sure that you’ve had a chance to speak with at least one former client of the contractor who had similar work done. This will ensure that the testimonials and reviews are all inline.
Remember, choosing a general contractor is not an quick process. It’s like buying a car; you need to do your research and take your time evaluating your options. The good news is that most contractors don’t operate like used car salesmen. With sufficient research you should be able to quickly narrow down your candidates and make a decision.
If you’re in the San Diego area and looking for a quality home remodeling company then contact
San Diego general contractor Greyhound General for a free estimate, or simply call 800-568-7108.

How to create the ultimate garage

Garages are often the most cluttered and underused areas of your house. In fact, it is very common to see garages that are used more as storage units than anything else. While the garage is a great place to store things, many people take this concept to the extreme and pile junk to the ceilings of their garages. Obviously the first step to ameliorating the situation is parting ways with some of this clutter. This means getting rid of (throwing away) unused items. You’ll have to pull out everything from the garage to get this done.

If you’ve made it this far then you’ve accomplished a lot. Unfortunately, once your garage is empty you may look at it and wonder, “do I still really like my garage?” Better yet, “How can I create the ultimate garage?” You know, the one where everything is neatly put away, the floor is shiny and nice, the work bench is organized.

Start by categorizing all of your “stuff”: sports equipment, camping gear, Christmas decorations, etc. Then find appropriate boxes for them. Before you put anything into the garage you should consider painting the interior walls and installing insulation (if there is none yet installed). Improving the lighting is another option to consider in the beginning. Finally, installing new flooring is always a good idea. You’ll need to consider the activities that you’ll be using the garage for. If all you’re doing is storing cars, bikes and other accessories, then you can go cheap. If you plan on doing a lot of work then you’ll want something a bit more heavy duty. Many people opt for epoxies; however mats and tiles hold up well, and you’ll likely have more color and style options.

Finally, you’ll need to find the ideal place for all your “stuff”. By now you’ve got organized boxes, so you just need a place to put them. Consider using storage shelves that hang from the ceiling. You’ll be able to easy pull up and down the shelf, when necessary, to get to your belongings, but they’ll be completely out of your way when you’re not using them. There should be ample cabinet space for storing tools and other accessories that need to be accessed quickly.

Transforming your garage can be quite a chore. Often times you may want to consider a professional organizer. However, you may be considering remodeling your entire garage or adding a detached garage. Whether you need more storage, you’d like to spruce up your existing garage or you’re simply looking to build the garage of your dreams, San Diego home remodeler Greyhound General can help. Contact Greyhound General today for a free garage remodeling estimate.

How to find the right general contractor in San Diego

When you decide to remodel any aspect of your home, whether it be your bathroom, kitchen or multiple rooms, you are likely to be faced with the tedious chore of choosing a contractor. To start you need to be sure that any contractor you’re considering has a valid contractor’s license, valid workman’s compensation and valid liability insurance. In order to verify this you need proof from the contractor. Furthermore, you’ll want to get as many references from the contractor as possible.

There are many important questions to ask these references. Here are just a few important questions to ask:

  • Did you have an opportunity to see and approve the plans prior to the start of the job?
  • Did the job start on time?
  • Did they clean the work area before leaving for the day?
  • Did the quality of the work live up to your expectations and what they promised?
  • Did the job get completed on time?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Did they ever ask for money before the phase of work was completed and before they were entitled to be paid? Did workers or sub contractors make asides or complain they were not being paid on time or were worried about getting their money at all? This is a huge red flag.
  • For your next home remodeling project consider a well respected San Diego general contractor with an impeccable record.