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.